PARIS -- Retired Formula One legend Michael Schumacher underwent emergency surgery after being admitted in a coma with a cranial trauma after a ski accident in Meribel, a French hospital said Sunday night.
The hospital in Grenoble in the French Alps said that the injuries required "immediate neurosurgical treatment."
BFMTV television said that the record seven-times world champion had suffered a brain hemorrhage.
Local authorities and news reports said that the 44-year-old Schumacher banged his head on a rock during a fall while skiing with his son.
Schumacher's manager, Sabine Kehm, confirmed the accident, but did not want to go into details. She confirmed that Schumacher was wearing a helmet at the time of the accident and was not alone.
"Please understand that we cannot release constant information about his health situation," Kehm told dpa.
RMC radio had earlier quoted Christophe Gernignon-Lecomte, director of tourism in the resort, as saying that there was no call for alarm.
The German, who was conscious when he was reached by rescuers, was transported by helicopter to a hospital in Moutiers, where he was diagnosed with a cranial trauma. Le Dauphine Libere said he was then transferred to a clinic in the city of Grenoble.
Meribel is part of an extensive ski region with about 180 lifts connecting three alpine valleys.
That clinic was reportedly cordoned off and Schumacher treated by Gerard Saillant, who also operated him when he broke his calf and shinebone during his most serious racing crash at the 1999 British Grand Prix.
Schumacher retired from Formula One a second time at the end of the 2012 season. He won two world titles with Benetton and five in a row with Ferrari.
Schumacher has had accidents before, including a motorcycle crash in February 2009 in Cartagena, Spain, where he damaged a vertebra, a rib and the bottom of his skull. At the time, his doctor, Johannes Peil, said it had caused the racer the most serious long-term harm of his career.
That accident denied him ttaking the place of Felipe Massa at Ferrari after the Brazilian suffered severe head injuries in a crash at the Hungarian Grand Prix in 2009.
Massa, his former team-mate, tweeted Sunday after hearing the news: "Michael !! I am praying for you my brother !! I hope you have a quick recovery !! God bless you Michael."
German footballer and Arsenal winger Lukas Podolski, who like Schumacher is from the Cologne area, tweeted: "Bad news from Switzerland: please get well soon, Michael Schumacher. All the best for you, my friend!"
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