Doctors have started trying to bring Formula One legend Michael Schumacher out of his month-long induced coma, his spokeswoman said Thursday.
The drugs used to keep Schumacher, 45, unconscious have begun to be reduced, though it may be some time yet before he comes to, the spokeswoman, Sabine Kehm, said in a statement.
"For the protection of the family, it was originally agreed by the interested parties to communicate this information only once this process was consolidated," it added.
Kehm said no more updates would be given and asked media to respect the privacy of Schumacher's family and to not disturb the doctors treating him.
The statement follows speculation among the French media on Wednesday that doctors had started to try to wake Schumacher up from his month-long coma.
After his December 29th fall at Meribel ski resort in the French Alps, Schumacher was sedated and cooled to around 35C to ease the risk of further damage to the brain.
Surgeons at Grenoble University Hospital say they decided on the coma after operating on bleeding and bruising in his brain.
They carried out a post-operative scan that revealed "widespread lesions" on both sides of the brain. A second operation, to treat bleeding, took place on December 30th.
It was unknown in what state he would be if the waking process is successful.
Experts said it was rare to keep a patient in an artificial coma for more than three weeks.
In accidents of a similar severity, patients often had a disability after their emergence from coma, the experts noted
Schumacher dominated Formula One for much of his racing career before his retirement in 2012.
He won the F1 title seven times, more than any other driver, and notched up 91 victories between 1994 and 2004.