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Doctors start tests on Michael Schumacher's injury; future uncertain

Photo: AFP/Getty Images

Michael Schumacher's blood can be seen on the snow where his skiing accident occurred.

(SI.com) -- According to reports in the UK's Daily Mail online and the German Bild newspaper, doctors have started tests on Formula One legend Michael Schumacher's brain, which suffered extensive damage when he fell and hit his head on a rock while skiing at a resort in the French Alps on December 29. The impact cracked Schumacher's helmet and the doctors who are treating him say he would have died if he had not been wearing headgear.

If successful, the tests on Schumacher, 45, who remains stable in a medically-induced coma, will reveal which parts of his brain are functioning and which remain dormant.

Schumacher's medical team in Grenoble, France, reportedly remains fearful of unexpected complications such as bleeding and infection, and a small part of his skull was removed in an attempt to relieve pressure on his brain. That procedure has its benefits, but also serious risks in that further unintended damage can occur.

Schumacher's wife and two children are at his bedside.

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