Schumacher waking: agent
Seven-time Formula One world champion Michael Schumacher is making progress and showing signs of waking from an artificial coma after suffering serious head injuries in a skiing accident, his agent said on Friday. “Michael is making progress on his way. He shows moments of consciousness and awakening,” Sabine Kehm said in a statement. Germany’s Schumacher, 45, slammed his head on a rock while skiing off-piste in the French Alps on Dec. 29 last year. The most successful F1 champion of all time has been in stable, but critical condition since then at a hospital in Grenoble, France. Doctors started lowering his sedation at the end of January to start waking him up.
Team record attempt fails
A team of 221 skydivers failed in their final attempt to break a world record by executing a daring jump above the southern Arizona desert on Friday, a day after a colleague died in a previous attempt, organizers said. Skydivers from 28 countries attempted the feat at about 6,000m above the town of Eloy before deploying their parachutes, Gulcin Gilbert, spokeswoman for the World Team group organizing the attempt, said in an e-mail. The team was trying to break the world record for most skydivers changing from one kaleidoscope-like formation to another in a one jump. The record is currently held by 110 skydivers in Florida. The attempt failed because two skydivers were out of formation, Gilbert said.
Woods may be out for months
Tiger Woods could be sidelined from competitive golf for at least three months after undergoing back surgery, casting doubt over his participation in the US Open, which is to run from June 12 to June 15, several leading sports surgeons said. The world No. 1, whose back pain surfaced last year and has intensified this season, will miss the Masters next week for the first time in his career after being advised by his doctors on Monday last week to have a microdiscectomy in Park City, Utah. Woods, whose back problems forced him to retire from last month’s Honda Classic before he skipped the Arnold Palmer Invitational — his traditional Masters warm-up — has been told by his doctors that he will miss “several upcoming tournaments” during rehabilitation. His surgery involved the removal of herniated disc material that pressed on a nerve root or the spinal cord. “In general, it takes six weeks for the soft tissues to heal, even from the microdiscectomy surgery,” Michael Leighton, a surgeon at the Palm Beach Orthopaedic Institute in Florida, said by telephone on Friday.
Hannover meet dead sheep
Hannover 96 players were met by a macabre sight on Friday when they turned up for training to find a dead sheep at their ground ahead of yesterday’s Lower Saxony derby against Eintracht Braunschweig. The sheep carcass was attached to the gate at the HDI Arena alongside a message that rammed home the rivalry between the two clubs’ supporters: “Sunday we’re going to wipe the floor with you pieces of sewage.” The fierce rivalry between the two teams that has erupted into violence at their matches has been exacerbated this season as both fight to avoid relegation. Braunschweig are rock bottom and four points from safety, while Hannover are only five points above the drop zone. The sinister message left Hannover sporting director Dirk Hufner fuming. “I can only say one thing: It’s lower than dirt,” he said.