Michael Schumacher, the Formula 1 legend, is gradually being "woken up" from a medically induced coma by doctors a month after his near fatal skiing accident in the French Alps, according to 'L'Equipe', the French sports daily.
Schumacher's spokeswoman asked the public not to pay attention to "speculation" but did not deny the report.
The seven-time world champion was placed in an artificially induced coma after he struck a rock while skiing off-piste in the resort of Meribel four weeks ago. He was airlifted to a nearby hospital and received emergency brain surgery.
'L'Equipe' reported that Schumacher (right) had "reacted positively" to the process begun this week at the CHU hospital in the south-west French city of Grenoble.
Sabine Kehm, Schumacher's manager, did not deny the report, but urged fans to ignore anything other than official comments on his health.
She added: "Michael's family is very happy and confident with the work of the team of doctors treating Michael, and they trust them completely."
Surgeons have performed two operations to remove blood clots around Schumacher's brain. He has been kept asleep to reduce swelling.
Doctors in Grenoble have ruled out giving a prognosis for his condition in the coming days and months. But it is medically possible for someone to spend several weeks in an induced coma and make a full recovery.
Meanwhile, Ferrari – the racing team with which Schumacher had 72 of his 91 F1 wins – said in an online statement it was "waiting" for his return: "Dear Michael, having spent so many years at Ferrari, you became one of us. You thrilled us so often, bringing us great joy, but the greatest one is yet to come: namely seeing you here in Maranello again, to meet your second family, the Ferrari one." (© Daily Telegraph, London)