A French doctor who treated Michael Schumacher following his skiing accident believes the F1 champion could recover from his injuries within three years.
The 45-year-old suffered serious head injuries after a fall on the slopes in Meribel, France, in December last year, when his helmet stuck a rock.
He spent six months in a medically-induced coma and was treated by Jean-Francois Payen, a doctor at the Grenoble hospital.
The seven times world champion was transferred to his Swiss home from the rehabilitation clinic in Lausanne two months ago and now receives round the clock care by a team of 15 experts in a purpose-built medical suite. It is understood he remains immobile and unable to speak.
Dr Payen who visited the former racing car driver at his home said he is no longer in a coma and is slowly recovering. The typical convalescence period was one to three years, he suggested.
"Life after a head injury is punctuated by stages," Payen told RTL radio. "We hope, but we have to give him time. It's like for other patients, we are on a timescale which goes from one year to three years and we need to be patient," he said.
Schumacher's 15-year-old son Mick earlier this month reported that his father was "waking up very slowly."
French F1 commentator Jean-Louis Moncet told Europe 1 radio station: "I saw his son and he told me that Schumi is waking up very slowly; very slowly. Although things are going at a slow pace, he has a lot of time, I would say he has his whole life in front of him to get back on track."
The racing driver's former Ferrari boss Jean Todt visited Schumacher last month. Commenting on his condition he said: "What's important is that he lives and that his family is with him. We really believe that things will get better. He needs time and to be left alone.
"In the past weeks and months, he has made progress in relation to the severity of his injury. But a long and hard road is in front of him. Hopefully things will improve. His family is close to him. He needs time and peace."
His father Rolf is moving from his home in Germany into a specially constructed residence built for him in the grounds of the £35million Schumacher mansion at Gland, on the shores of Lake Geneva.