Michael Schumacher's manager has dismissed reports in a German magazine that the Formula One legend's doctors have ended attempts to bring him out of a medically-induced coma.
Sabine Kehm, the seven-time champion's manager, said the situation was "unchanged", after the German magazine Focus cited "insiders" claiming doctors at the Grenoble hospital where Schumacher is being treated had abandoned attempts to wake him up "due to complications".
Ms Kehm said: "This phase can take a long time which, much to our regret, can lead to many misinterpretations."
Schumacher has been in a medically-induced coma since a skiing accident in the French Alps last December.
The Brazilian said: "He was sleeping, and I was very positive because he was normal. He also gave some reactions with the mouth and everything.
"It looked positive. We need to believe. He's a very strong man, a great man and I really hope he can wake up and enjoy life again."
Schumacher's family have said they still "strongly believe" he will recover, despite reported setbacks including that he had pneumonia.
Last week French investigators ruled out any criminal wrongdoing by the Alpine ski resort in Schumacher’s accident, as it emerged that the Formula One legend was catapulted 34 feet before smashing his head on a rock.
Albertville prosecutor Patrick Quincy found that “no (safety) breaches by anyone have been found” and the probe has been closed, his office said in a statement.
The decision to close the case does not, however, prevent Schumacher’s family from taking civil legal action over the Dec 29 accident.
Schumacher has undergone two operations in a hospital in Grenoble since sustaining brain injuries when he hit his head on a rock while skiing off-piste with his son in the upmarket resort, where he owns a chalet.
Kehm said on Jan 30 that doctors were reducing his sedation to prepare to bring him gradually out of a medically-induced coma.