Formula One legend Michael Schumacher is likely to be in a vegetative state and there is little chance of him ever making a full recovery, according to renowned neurosurgeon Erich Riederer.
The German suffered devastating brain injuries in a skiing accident back in 2013 while on holiday in the French Alps and his condition has been closely guarded by his family.
This has raised the hopes of his millions of fans but Riederer, who is not personally connected with Schumacher and was giving an opinion as an outsider, has offered a more bleak opinion of the prognosis.
Speaking on a documentary on French television station TMC, he said: ‘I think he’s in a vegetative state, which means he’s awake but not responding.
‘He is breathing, his heart is beating, he can probably sit up and take baby steps with help, but no more.
‘I think that’s the maximum for him. Is there any chance of seeing him like he was before his accident? I really don’t think so.’
It is not known whether Riderer has visited Schumacher himself or what information he is basing his opinion on.
Riderer’s interview came days after Todt revealed he had recently visited the seven-time world champion at his home.
He said: ‘I saw Michael last week. He is fighting.
‘My God, we know he had a terrible and unfortunate skiing accident which has caused him a lot of problems.
‘But he has an amazing wife next to him, he has his kids, his nurses, and we can only wish him the best and to wish the family the best, too.
‘All I can do is to be close to them until I am able to do something, and then I will do it.’
Schumacher was in a coma for six months after the head injury suffered whilst skiing off-piste in the popular resort of Meribel in the Alps.
After 254 days he returned home, where he has largely remained ever since.
It was revealed earlier this year that he is to have stem cell surgery from a renowned doctor in a bid to revive his nervous system. At this time, it is not known whether the surgery took place or if Schumacher has benefited from it.