Michael Schumacher's family have released a rare statement on the eve of his 50th birthday.

The former Formula 1 star has not been seen in public since he suffered severe head injuries in a tragic skiing accident in the French Alps, over five years ago.

As a result of the accident, which initially left him in a coma, Schumacher underwent multiple operations and is now believed to be receiving intensive treatment at his home in in Switzerland.

Information about his condition has been limited, while there has been little word from his family and close friends.

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His family did put out a rare statement overnight however, saying that they are "doing everything humanly possible" to help the seven-time Formula One champion.

"You can be sure that he is in the very best of hands and that we are doing everything humanly possible to help him. Please understand if we are following Michael's wishes and keeping such a sensitive subject as health, as it has always been, in privacy. At the same time we say thank you very much for your friendship and wish you a healthy and happy year 2019."

Statement von Michaels Familie: "Wir freuen uns darüber und möchten uns von ganzem Herzen bedanken dafür, dass ihr...

Posted by Michael Schumacher on Tuesday, 1 January 2019

The statement also noted that an official Michael Schumacher app is being released tomorrow, to celebrate his success.

"We are very happy to celebrate Michael's 50th birthday tomorrow together with you and thank you from the bottom of our hearts that we can do this together. As a gift to him, you and us, Keep Fighting Foundation has created a virtual museum. The Official Michael Schumacher App will be released tomorrow, so that we can review all together Michael's successes. The app is another milestone in our effort to do justice to him and you, his fans, by celebrating his accomplishments. We wish you a lot of fun with it.

"Michael can be proud of what he has achieved, and so are we! That's why we remember his successes with the Michael Schumacher Private Collection exhibition in Cologne, by publishing memories in social media and by continuing his charitable work through the Keep Fighting Foundation. We want to remember and celebrate his victories, his records and his jubilation."