GRENOBLE, France - Formula One legend Michael Schumacher remained in an induced coma Wednesday after spending a third night in hospital with severe brain injuries sustained during a skiing accident in the French Alps.
The German racing great entered the new year in a critical condition with his family at his bedside and doctors unsure of his future after a second operation to remove a blood clot in his brain.
The seven-time world champion fell and slammed his head on a rock while skiing off-piste on Sunday at the upmarket Meribel ski resort.
Reports the 44-year-old was left fighting for his life stunned the sports world and legions of Formula One fans.
On Tuesday doctors were surprised by a slight improvement in his condition which allowed them to perform the second nearly two-hour long procedure, but said he was "not out of danger" yet.
Jean-Francois Payen, head of the intensive care unit at the hospital in the French Alpine city of Grenoble, warned that Schumacher was not out of the woods.
"We cannot speculate on the future," he said. "We cannot say he is out of danger but we have gained some time."
He said scans showed that the removal of the bleeding had been done in a "satisfactory manner", but ruled out Schumacher's transfer from the hospital as it could be "dangerous".
Doctors have said that Schumacher, due to turn 45 on January 3, has age and physical fitness on his side.
He had been put in a medically induced coma to spur recovery. His temperature has also been reduced to around 35 degrees Celsius (95 degrees Fahrenheit) to reduce swelling.
By being unconscious, the brain is also switched off to sounds, light and other triggers that cause the organ to use up oxygen as it processes the stimuli.