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Formula 1: Michael Schumacher suffered brain damage in motorbike accident in Murcia in 2009, confirms medic
FORMULA 1 ace Michael Schumacher's brain was damaged in a motorbike accident he suffered in Cartagena (Murcia) in 2009, reveals the doctor who treated him at the time.
The seven-times world champion, who remains in a critical but stable condition in a medically-induced coma in Grenoble university hospital in eastern France, damaged the right-hand side of his brain when he fell off a motorbike at high speed just over four years ago in the south-eastern Spanish coastal town.
"The left artery broke - and there are only two arteries which supply blood to the cerebellum," explained Dr Johannes Peil, manager of the sports clinic in Bad Nauheim.
In an interview with German national daily newspaper Bild, Dr Peil said the cerebellum is the part of the brain which controls motor functions, or movement and reactions.
Despite his injury in Murcia, German-born Schumacher returned to Formula 1 in 2010 after coming out of retirement, joining team Mercedes.
Fortunately, Dr Peil does not believe the permanent effects of the injury in 2009 will affect his chances of recovery now, following a skiing accident on Sunday, December 29 at the Méribel resort near Grenoble, where Michael and his family have a holiday home.
He has undergone two operations to relieve pressure caused by fluid on the brain and doctors continue to drain more off whilst carrying out hourly head scans.
Schumacher hit his head on a rock in a fall while skiing off-piste and, such was the impact, his helmet broke in two.
His agent Sabine Kehm insists he was not skiing at high speed at the time, but had left the piste to help out some less-experienced friends who had suffered a minor fall.
Police in Grenoble have questioned his 14-year-old son, who was with him at the time of the accident, and the family has reluctantly handed over the camera attached to his helmet for examination.
The police were unable to order that this be handed in as there was no crime involved.
A vigil was held in Schumacher's native Germany and in Grenoble outside the hospital yesterday (Friday) to mark his 45th birthday.
Skiers on the slopes at Méribel suddenly became conscious of wearing helmets after the accident, and the equipment shop at the resort sold out within days due to the demand sparked by Schumacher's fall.
Doctors in Grenoble say they will not be providing regular updates and will only speak to the media as and when there are any changes to the Formula 1 legend's condition.
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