Schumacher no longer on respirator - report

Michael Schumacher is breathing without the help of a respirator, the authoritative Italian sports daily La Gazzetta dello Sport claimed on Friday.

It is a significant possible development in the seven time world champion's situation, more than nine weeks into his coma following a skiing fall in late December.

The F1 legend's manager Sabine Kehm issued an official statement on Friday, warning that any unofficial information about Schumacher's condition is "not valid".

"Michael is still in the wake up phase," the official statement added. "The situation has not changed."

But the Gazzetta article was penned by the highly respected correspondent Pino Allievi, and at the Geneva motor show, Kehm indicated that Schumacher's overall situation has improved.

"Michael is out of danger," she reportedly said, "but the condition is still serious and so it is difficult to say all the risks are gone.

"But it is clear that his condition is no longer as sensitive as at first."

Allievi, meanwhile, wrote that while Schumacher's children have now returned to school, Schumacher's close friends such as Jean Todt and Ross Brawn are alternating at his bedside and speaking to the great German in English, as they did during their ultra-successful Ferrari days.

The report said that during these visits, at which recordings of pit radio conversations and F1 engine sounds are played in order to stimulate his memories, the expression on Schumacher's face sometimes changes.

And when the doctors are in the room, Schumacher reportedly often grimaces, or his arms move.

(GMM)

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