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Schumacher remains in critical but stable condition after fall

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Michael Schumacher. Photo: PA Wire

Michael Schumacher. Photo: PA Wire

Michael Schumacher. Photo: PA Wire

FORMULA 1: Michael Schumacher's condition remains stable but critical and he is under constant monitoring at the Grenoble hospital following a skiing accident on December 29, his manager has confirmed.

The seven-time Formula One world champion has undergone two operations as neurosurgeons removed blood clots and reduced swelling, with the 45-year-old in an artificially induced coma.

Schumacher suffered the head injury while on a family holiday in the French resort of Meribel and, despite being conscious immediately after the accident, he was airlifted to hospital where the full extent of his injuries became clear.

Since then he has been declared as stable and his manager Sabine Kehm has said his condition has not changed and any treatment will be kept private.

"The clinical state of Michael Schumacher is considered as stable and is being continually monitored by the medical treatment administered to him," Kehm said in a statement.

Supporters gathered outside the hospital on Friday as Schumacher turned 45 but it still remains unclear if the former Jordan, Benetton, Ferrari and Mercedes driver will fully recover from the injuries sustained.

 

FLOWER AND COOK SEETHING OVER ENGLAND'S ASHES PERFORMANCE

CRICKET: England's coach and captain are both angry after their descent to an Ashes whitewash and are determined to make up for the embarrassment.

Andy Flower, who confirmed unequivocally in the aftermath of a 281-run defeat in the final Test at Sydney that he will be continuing as coach and team director, made it clear too that he and captain Alastair Cook are seething over their team's shambolic under-performance.

He is intent on putting things right, whatever it takes, ideally before England's next Test against Sri Lanka at Lord's in June – and certainly in time for the 2015 Ashes rematch.

Asked if he felt angry, less than 24 hours after England had folded to defeat at the SCG well inside three days, Flower said: "Yes, in a word.

"I'm glad Alastair is as well. So we should be. This has been a bad loss."

There will doubtless be an outcry in some quarters, and demands for heads like Flower's to roll following such a miserable campaign – after England arrived in Australia hoping for a fourth successive Ashes series win.

But he knows he has the backing of new England and Wales Cricket Board managing director Paul Downton, and intends to work closely with him to identify which changes are needed.

"As part of our review, we'll be looking at playing personnel and support staff and making sure we've got the right people on board for the future," Flower said. "This will be a new start, and so it should be."

 

OUT-HALF PLISSON MUSCLES IN ON FRANCE SQUAD FOR SIX NATIONS

RUGBY: Uncapped fly-half Jules Plisson has dislodged experienced playmakers Francois Trinh-Duc and Frederic Michalak from France's RBS 6 Nations squad.

The 22-year-old outside-half is one of three developing Stade Francais stars to muscle into Philippe Saint-André's squad for next month's European tournament.

Flanker Antoine Burban and full-back Hugo Bonneval join team-mate Plisson in Saint André's line-up, while Castres full-back Geoffrey Palis is included for the first time.

Stade's resurgence is underscored by their climb to second in the Top 14 rankings, with Plisson holding his own alongside decorated Springbok fly-half and team-mate Morne Steyn.

With Camille Lopez missing through injury, Saint-André has chosen to promote Plisson ahead of both Toulon's Michalak and Montpellier's Trinh-Duc.

"There were talks over Jules Plisson and Francois again this morning," Saint-André said.

"Francois is making a massive effort and he's almost there, but Jules Plisson is currently putting in some high-quality performances.

"We've picked the most in-form and confident players of the moment.

"Frederic was the starter in last year's Six Nations and he played exceptionally in the November 2012 Tests.

"But he got injured and is currently lacking game time. He needs more time."


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