Alex Zanardi has reportedly enjoyed a breakthrough in his neurological condition, the Italian driver now able to respond with hand movements to his doctors' questions.
The former F1 driver and two-time IndyCar champion has undergone five neurological and carnio-facial reconstruction surgeries since his traumatic hand-bike crash in Tuscany in June, when gold medal Paralympian collided with an oncoming truck while taking part in a local race.
Zanardi was initially placed in a medically induced coma at Siena's Santa Maria alle Scotta hospital where the Italian was admitted with severe head and facial injuries.
Over the summer, Zanardi was transferred to Milan and then to a neurosurgery unit in Padua, closer to his home.
According to a report published on Monday by Italy's Corriere della Sera, Zanardi has recovered his hearing and sight, and is now capable of shaking hands with his doctors, having also shown a raised 'OK' thumb to his wife Daniela.
However, the 54-year-old cannot currently speak as his trachea remains open as a precaution.
The Corriere's report stated that Zanardi's doctors are confident the racer will recover the majority of his brain functions as time unfolds and progress ensues.
Today's news will likely add a big sparkle to the Zanardi family and all his fans' Christmas.