A picture of Malala Yousafzai, the 15-year-old Pakistani schoolgirl who is being treated at Birmingham's Queen Elizabeth Hospital for head injuries after being shot by the Taliban, has emerged on Twitter after doctors said she was able to stand up and communicate with staff.

Malala, who was attacked for promoting the education of girls, reportedly thanked all well-wishers for their support and doctors and nurses for treating her.

The bullet struck Malala just above her left eye and had grazed the edge of her brain.

Dave Rosser, medical director of the University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, said Malala still had some way to go.

"Having said that, she is doing very well," he said. "In fact, she was standing with some help for the first time this morning when I went in to see her."

He said she had the potential to make "pretty much a full recovery" but would not be strong enough for surgery for another two weeks.

"Malala is still showing some signs of infection, probably related to the bullet track, which is our key source of concern," said Rosser.

"She is communicating very freely, she is writing," he continued.

"Her airway was swollen by the passing of the bullet,so in order to protect her airway she had a tracheostomy tube.

"She is not able to talk, although we have no good reason to think that she wouldn't be able to talk once this tube is out, which may be in the next few days."

He said that the buller travelled through the side of her jaw, damaging her skull and the jaw joint on the left hand side. It then went through the neck and lodged in the tissues above the shoulder blade.

"The bullet grazed the edge of her brain. A couple of inches more central [and] it's almost certainly an unsurvivable injury."

Malala was shot along with two classmates as they were going home from school in northwest Paksitan. She was initially treated by neurosurgeons at a Pakistani military hospital before being flown to the UK.