(SportsNetwork.com) - Doctors treating Michael Schumacher are beginning to bring the seven-time Formula One world champion out of his medically-induced coma one month after he suffered a traumatic brain injury during a skiing accident.
Schumacher's manager, Sabine Kehm, released a statement on Thursday, saying "Michael's sedation is being reduced in order to allow the start of the waking-up process, which may take a long time."
Kehm also noted, "For the protection of the family, it was originally agreed by the interested parties to communicate this information only once this process was consolidated. Please note that no further updates will be given."
Schumacher's accident occurred on Dec. 29 at the Meribel ski resort in the French Alps. The 45-year-old German hit his head on a rock when he fell while skiing off-piste. His skis struck a rock, causing him to fall. Schumacher has been treated at Grenoble University Hospital in Grenoble, France.
The last medical update on Schumacher came nearly two weeks ago when Kehm said Schumacher was in "stable" condition but nowhere in her update did the word "critical" appear.
In her latest statement, Kehm continued to plea to the media not to speculate on Schumacher's condition or treatment and respect the privacy of his family.
"The family of Michael Schumacher is again requesting to respect its privacy and the medical secret, and to not disturb the doctors treating Michael in their work," Kehm said. "At the same time, the family wishes to express sincere appreciation for the world-wide sympathy."