'Schumacher making progress'

A doctor said the former F1 champ is not in a vegetative state or a coma.

Michael Schumacher. Picture: EPA.

PARIS - A doctor who treated Michael Schumacher after his skiing accident has said the seven times Formula One champion has made progress, but his recovery could still take years.

"I have observed some progress, but I would say we have to give him time," Jean-Francois Payen told France's RTL radio station on Thursday.

"The same as for other patients. We are in a timescale that goes from one to three years, so we must be patient."

Schumacher, 45, suffered severe head injuries in a fall while skiing in Meribel in the French Alps last December and was treated initially at Grenoble Hospital.

He was then moved to a hospital in Lausanne and was discharged last month to continue his rehabilitation at home in the Swiss town of Gland.

Payen said he had continued to treat the former Ferrari and Mercedes driver in Switzerland, but divulged no medical details other than saying the German was not in a coma and nor was he in a 'vegetative' state.

"He is in very favourable conditions, his wife has excellent advisors and has put in place everything he needs to move forward."

Payen said Schumacher's wife Corinna had shown "extraordinary willpower" and had a clear understanding of what was needed and the road that lay ahead.