Seven-times Formula One world champion Michael Schumacher was in a 'critical' condition on Monday 30 December 2013 after suffering head injuries
in a skiing accident in the French Alps resort of Meribel.
Doctors operated on the 44-year-old German for the second time during the night, according to the websites of German daily Bild and French local newspaper Dauphine Libere. Bild said doctors had drilled holes in his skull to reduce internal pressure, without citing its sources.
The retired motor racing star fell while skiing off-piste on Sunday morning. "He suffered head trauma with coma that needed prompt neurosurgical treatment ... He remains in a critical condition," Schumacher's agent Sabine Kehm said in a statement late on Sunday.
An official at the Grenoble hospital where he was being treated said on Monday doctors were meeting with his family but declined to give more details on the state of his health.
Christophe Gernigon-Lecomte, the director of the Meribel ski resort where Schumacher has a vacation home, said earlier the former champion was wearing a helmet when he fell and hit his head on a rock.
The German had been conscious while being transported first to a local hospital in Moutiers before then being transferred to Grenoble, he added.
"He was conscious but very agitated while being taken to hospital," said the director.
Schumacher was under the care of Professor Gerard Saillant, a brain and spinal injury expert who is also president of the International Automobile Federation (FIA) Institute.Read:
Shock and prayers for Michael on Twitter
Leading names in motor racing reacted with shock on Twitter.
- "If anyone can pull through, it's him," said Britain's triple Indy 500 winner Dario Franchitti, who is still walking on crutches after a crash in October that ended his racing career.
- What we want to hear is: 1) off or starting to come off the respirator. 2) intracranial pressure staying normal. If we hear this, we're ok. Gary Hartstein @former_f1doc
- "Come on Michael, give us one of those race stints at pure qualifying pace to win through, like you used to. You can do it," said Schumacher's former Benetton team mate Martin Brundle.
- Former Ferrari team mate Felipe Massa, who suffered a near fatal head injury at the 2009 Hungarian Grand Prix, said he was praying for his friend.