da Matta has "rounded the corner"

August 31st, 2006  
Team Infidel

Topic: da Matta has "rounded the corner"

In racing speak, Cristiano da Matta has "rounded the corner" according to Dr. Chris Pinderski, medical director of Champ Car. "Cristiano is doing great. He's communicating in two languages, Portugese and English," said Pinderski, who was visting the 32-year-old Brazilian driver Wednesday at the Theda Clark Medical Center in Neenah, Wis. "He's still pretty confused but he calls his girlfriend by her name and recognizes his mother and father and brother. He's made excellent progress." The 2002 CART champion suffered a near-fatal head injury after being struck by a deer on Aug. 3 during a test at Elkhart Lake, Wis. Quick response by the Champ Car safety team and Pinderski, coupled with neuro surgery within two hours of the accident, gave da Matta a chance to survive. Since then, the popular driver known as "Shorty" has come out of his coma and made steady progress, which really acclerated the past week. "I asked Cristiano which team he drove for and he immediately began talking and engineers and wings," said Pinderski. "So he's thinking in auto racing terms, even if he isn't quite sure what he's saying yet. He's also walking around and, hopefully, next week we'll get him into a rehabilitation hospital." Pinderski has remained cautiously positive during the past two weeks but clearly likes what he's seeing now. "Cristiano still has a long way to go but I think he's turned the corner."(Speed Channel)

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