Michael Schumacher is reportedly “very altered” six years on from the ski accident which left him with a brain injury.
The Formula One champion almost died when he fell and cracked his head on a rock while skiing off-piste in the French Alps in December 2013.
Despite the 51-year-old coming out of a long-term coma, surgeon Nicola Acciari claims he will never be the man he used to be.
“We must imagine a person very different from the one we remember on the track, with a very altered and deteriorated organic, muscular and skeletal structure,” Dr Acciari told Italian newspaper Contro Copertina.
“All as a result of the brain trauma he suffered.”
However, it is important to note that Dr Acciari is not reported to have treated the sporting superstar.
The neurosurgeon’s warning comes after Schumacher’s former manager Jean Todt assured fans that he is “still fighting”.
“I’m always careful with such statements, but it’s true. I saw the race together with Michael Schumacher at his home in Switzerland,” he said.
“Michael is in the best hands and is well looked after in his house. He does not give up and keeps fighting.
“His family is fighting just as much and of course our friendship cannot be the same as it once was just because there’s no longer the same communication as before.”