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Formula One great Schumacher suffered brain contusions

Dec. 30, 2013 at 3:05 PM

GRENOBLE, France, Dec. 30 (UPI) -- Former Formula One champion Michael Schumacher suffered cerebral lesions and brain contusions following a nearly fatal skiing accident, French doctors said.

Schumacher remained in critical condition Monday at a French hospital following Sunday's serious fall on a ski slope. Doctors said they could not offer a prognosis yet.

A statement released by the University Center Hospital of Grenoble, France, indicated the greatest driver in F1 history was in a coma when he arrived and required immediate brain surgery, CNN reported.

The 44-year-old German, who retired from the circuit for a second time in 2012, fell while skiing at the Meribel resort and hit his head on a rock, resort director Christophe Gernignon-Lecomte told the U.S. broadcaster.

He said it remained unclear what caused the accident, but added it was not linked to an avalanche.

Schumacher was wearing a helmet and was not alone during the accident, but no one else was involved, Schumacher's representative, Sabine Kehm, said in a statement released to the official F1 website. Doctors said the helmet likely saved Schumacher's life, Radio France Internationale reported.

He was airlifted off the slope by helicopter after being checked by ski patrol members, but was described as being conscious at the time.

Schumacher won the Formula One championship seven times in his storied racing career.

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