Schumacher’s closest friends explain what we know about his current condition

It has been eight years since Michael Schumacher suffered a brutal head injury while skiing in the French Alps.

Over the years, information have been scarce about the condition of the German F1 legend, most recently with racing boss and close friend Jean Todt speaking on the matter.

Updates on Schumacher's health have been few and far between. The Telegraph in 2014 reported that Schumacher was "paralysed and in a wheelchair".

Having spent a long time unable to move, Schumacher has reportedly developed muscle atrophy and osteoporosis.

Schumacher underwent a pioneering stem-cell treatment in 2020 in a surgery performed by Frenchman Professor Philippe Menasché.

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The exact details of the surgery, like so much of Schumacher's recovery process, have been kept under wraps by those treating him and those closest to him.

It is thought that the surgery involved transfusions of stem-cells which can reduce inflammation as these cells have a strong tissue.

Dr Menasché told the Express in 2020 that the stem-cells can "rescue damaged cells, caused by brain injuries, as their robustness helps with tissue protection."

Todt, who was the team principle at Ferrari for some of Schumacher's most successful years, has often been the person to provide the updates about the progression of his friend's recovery from the brain trauma. Most of his words on the issue are similarly vague in nature.

Speaking to Bild, Todt recently spoke about how Schumacher's wife Corinna has been integral to the recuperation process, and how Schumacher himself is living with the "consequences" of the horrendous accident.

Todt said: "I’ve spent a lot of time with Corinna since Michael had his serious skiing accident.

"She is a great woman and leads the family. She didn’t expect that. It happened suddenly and she had no choice.

"Thanks to the work of his doctors and the cooperation of Corinna, who wanted Michael to survive, he did survive – but with consequences.

"At the moment he fights the consequences. We hope that things will slowly but surely improve."

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Todt remains in close contact with the family and has managed to do so in spite of the pandemic. Speaking to Italian publication Corriere della Sera, the current FIA president said: "I see Michael at least twice a month.

"I don’t leave him alone. Him, Corinna, the family: we’ve had so many experiences together. The beauty of what we have experienced is part of us and it goes on.”

We heard more revealing news from Todt in 2019, when he spoke to Radio Monte Carlo about his friend. On that occasion, Todt said: "I’m always careful with such statements, but it’s true.

"I saw the race together with Michael Schumacher at his home in Switzerland.

“Michael is in the best hands and is well looked after in his house. He does not give up and keeps fighting.”

Todt continued in that interview to admit that his relationship with the seven-time world champion is not the same as it once was as a result of the injury and its effect on Schumacher's ability to communicate.

He added: "His family is fighting just as much and of course our friendship can not be the same as it once was.

“Just because there’s no longer the same communication as before.

“He continues to fight. And his family is fighting the same way.”

Schumacher's son Mick now drives in F1, a fact that is known to bring great joy to the 52-year-old. Todt said to RTL France: "Of course he is following [Mick].

"Mick is probably going to race in Formula 1 next year which will be a great challenge. We would be delighted to have a new Schumacher at the highest level of motor racing."

Todt was again asked coy on news about his health in that interview, responding to questions about it with: "This is a question on which I am going to be extremely reserved.

"I see Michael very often – once or twice a month. My answer is the same all the time – he fights."

While Todt has been the main source of information with regards to Schumacher's health, he is not the only person to have spoken on the matter.

Bernie Ecclestone, a former F1 chief, expressed a level of optimism over Schumacher's wellbeing in July this year.

Ecclestone said: "He is not with us at the moment. But when he gets better, he’ll answer all the questions.”

Sabine Kehm is another person who has been a source of information over recent years.

Kehm has been the Schumacher family's PR guru for over a decade, and gave many of the initial releases when the accident first happened.

When Schumacher left Grenoble hospital for a different facility in Lausanne a year on from the accident, Kehm read a statement saying: "Michael has left the CHU Grenoble to continue his long phase of rehabilitation. He is not in a coma anymore.

"Considering the severe injuries he suffered, progress has been made in the past weeks and months.

"We would like to extend our gratitude to the entire team at CHUV Lausanne for their thorough and competent work."

Kehm has also shut down rumours about Schumacher before, particularly in the early stages of his recovery.

While he was still in a coma, Kehm was forced to deny reports that he could interact with his immediate surroundings.

On that occasion, she said to Gazzetta dello Sport in Italy: "I have never spoken with these journalists, and we have not issued any statement about Michael's health condition."

More revealing information about Schumacher may well be shown in an upcoming Netflix documentary about the F1 legend.

The documentary, which is set to be released on the streaming service in September. The film promises to show rare footage of Schumacher's career and his recovery.

Kehm described the film as showing both the public and private versions of the great racing driver.

She said: "This film tells of both worlds. It is his family's gift to their beloved husband and father."

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