A brain injury specialist has warned that if Michael Schumacher survives after his skiing accident "he will not be Michael Schumacher".

French doctors have begun tests on the seven-time Formula 1 world champion, who has been in an artificially induced coma after his head struck a rock while he was skiing off-piste in Meribel in France.

He has had an operation to remove a small part of his skull in a bid to relieve pressure on his brain but he remains in a critical condition.

Dr Richard Greenwood, an acute brain injury specialist from University College London Hospital, this week said successful rehabilitation would mean adjusting to a very different life.


"If Schumacher survives, he will not be Schumacher," Greenwood said, as reported by the Times.

"He will be [Joe] Bloggs. His rehabilitation will only be effective if he comes to terms with being Bloggs.

"That is a very, very hard process to take people through. They need to come to terms with their limitations - the fact they have changed."

Greenwood was speaking at the launch of a study which found that people who suffered traumatic head injuries were three times as likely to die prematurely as those who had not.