There are encouraging signs of a partial recovery for Ariel Sharon. The Israeliprime minister is moving some of his limbs slightly and can feel pain.
That is the assessment from Hadassah hospital in Jerusalem. Director Shlomo Mor Yossef told journalists: “There is some very small movement in his right hand and his right leg. These signs, together with the slight elevation of his blood pressure in reaction to pain, show that there is activity in his brain.”
Doctor Felix Umansky, who operated on the prime minister, added: “It is the beginning of a long period of waiting for Mr Sharon, and we need to be very cautious about his prospects.”
Doctors estimate it will take several days to lift the prime minister out of his artifically-induced coma by reducing the anaesthetic in his body.
They will be testing his reactions at every stage of the procedure to assess the extent of the brain damage he has sustained.
His condition remains critical but stable.
Experts say he has a good chance of surviving, but it is unlikely he will return to politics.