Doctors begin awakening Albrecht

INNSBRUCK, Austria -- Doctors have started to wake Swiss skier Daniel Albrecht from an induced coma following his World Cup downhill training crash last month.

The 25-year-old Albrecht has been kept unconscious since he crashed and suffered brain and lung injuries during downhill training on Jan. 22 in Kitzbuehel, Austria.

"The induced coma is being reduced very slowly, while all reactions of the body are closely monitored," the Innsbruck University hospital said Saturday in a statement.

The procedure to bring a patient out of an induced coma normally takes three or four days.

"Regarding Albrecht's physical condition as a top athlete, it might take only two days. It all depends on how his body adjusts," hospital spokesman Johannes Schwamberger said.

A lung infection had forced doctors to stop a previous wake-up procedure last Sunday. However, the hospital said his lungs have improved.

Albrecht, a winner of two World Cup races this season, was to defend his world championship title in the super-combined event Monday in Val d'Isere, France.