Racing fans and the public at large will be encouraged by today's news that Michael Schumacher has come out of his coma and has left the hospital in Grenoble, France.

The former seven-time Formula One world champion suffered massive head trauma in a skiing accident in the French Alps just before the New Year. Doctors subsequently placed him in a medically induced coma, in which he has been lying for the half-year since the incident, with only sporadic and often unsubstantiated reports on his progress.

Now Schumacher's longtime spokesperson Sabine Kehm has announced in a statement to the media that "Michael has left the CHU Grenoble to continue his long phase of rehabilitation," adding that "he is not in a coma anymore." (That's Kehm pictured above at right in 2000 with Schumi at the Austrian Grand Prix, a race which he won with Ferrari the last two times it was held before its revival next weekend.)

His family is not saying where he'll be taken next, but reports in March suggested that the Schumacher family was spending millions on a home medical suite. Whether that would be at his chalet in Meribel or one of his homes in Germany or Monaco, we don't know, but we respect the champ's right to privacy, wish him and his family the best as he undertakes the long recovery process and hope to have good news to report in the near future.

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