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Doctors hopeful Massa could leave hospital next week 28 Jul 2009

Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 10, Hungarian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Budapest, Hungary, Saturday, 25 July 2009

With news from Hungary about Felipe Massa’s recovery looking increasingly positive, the Brazilian’s doctor has revealed to reporters that he could be well enough to walk out of hospital within the next ten days.

Massa suffered a fractured skull after being hit by a spring from another car during qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix. He underwent emergency surgery and was taken out of an artificially-induced coma on Monday. He has since been awake, chatting to close friends and family members, who have gathered at his bedside.

"My expectation is that he would walk out of the hospital on his own,” Peter Bazso, the medical director of Budapest’s AEK Hospital told Hungarian television channel M1. “If his recovery continues at this pace, I would not rule out that he could leave within ten days. He's spending more and more time awake, talking to family and friends."

Despite the Brazilian’s encouraging progress, Bazso has urged caution, revealing that Massa would continue to be monitored closely in intensive care. "I would like to point out that although he's recovering, this is not the end of the story, he is still in a life-threatening condition," he said. "Of course, the danger is decreasing by the day."

Massa’s wife, his parents, his brother and his friend and manager Nicolas Todt all spent Monday night at the hospital. Former Ferrari boss Jean Todt paid a visit during the course of Tuesday, as did Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali.

"It's good to have comforting news,” said Domenicali on Ferrari’s official website. “I spoke to Felipe and it was very emotional for me: he recognised me and I brought him a message from everybody at Ferrari and from the fans all over the world. I told him that his red car will wait for him until he's ready to race again. Now we've got to take it step by step and remain cautious, but it's really incredible to see all of this progress only three days after the accident."

Massa’s personal doctor, Dino Altman, added: "His condition is improving quickly and constantly. He is more and more awake and reactive. He spoke to several people today, using three different languages, replying always in a coherent way. He's also progressing with his physiotherapy very well. He opened his left eye and confirmed that he can see with it. As far as the near future is concerned we have to be cautious, but I have to say that also today there are very positive signs."