Michael Schumacher has been in a coma for 12 weeks. (Photo: Punit Paranjpe/AFP/Getty Images)

has been in hospital since December 29, 2013. (Photo: Punit Paranjpe/AFP/Getty Images)

An expert has admitted he is alarmed by reports Michael Schumacher has lost a quarter of his body weight while laying comatose in France.

Although the great German’s family manager Sabine Kehm and close friend Jean Todt insist they have not given up on the hope of full recovery, almost 12 weeks have now passed since the former Ferrari and Mercedes driver’s skiing fall.Early last week, reports came through that the 45-year-old, who weighed about 75 kilograms (165 pounds) when he crashed on the Meribel slopes, has apparently lost 20 kilograms (44 pounds) in hospital.

Italy’s La Gazzetta dello Sport and the major German daily Bild-Zeitung are now also reporting that Schumacher now weighs just 55 kilos (121 pounds), which means he has lost more than a quarter of his former body weight.

“While a weight loss in coma patients is normal, 20 kilos is a lot for people with normal body weights,” said Prof. Dr. Curt Diehm, of the Karlsbad teaching hospital in Germany.

“One must assume that his muscles have degraded greatly due to the immobility,” he surmised.

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