Doctors treating a Bolshoi ballet artistic director disfigured in an acid attack in January say he should recover enough vision to return to work.

Sergei Filin suffered serious eye damage and facial disfigurement when a masked man threw sulphuric acid into his face outside his Moscow home.

On Friday, he appeared, wearing dark glasses, at a news conference at a German clinic where he is being treated. He has had several surgeries to his eyes and face.

"I am full of strength and faith that I will recover what has been unjustly taken from me," Filin said thanking doctors for their treatment.

His eye surgeon Martin Hermel said Filin’s left eye had shown some improvement but he did not yet have a prognosis for the more badly damaged right eye.

"We can say that we hope that Mr. Filin will recover to a useable vision that will allow him to go back to his normal life and his professional life," Hermel told the media conference, which was aired live in Russia.

He said Filin will still faces a long period of recovery and he expects his skin will be permanently scarred by the attack.

Filin, who wore a black scarf and knitted hat over his burns, said he was in daily contact with the ballerina who has temporarily taken over his duties as artistic director at the Bolshoi.

He said he was not afraid of returning to the theatre, despite reports that long-held rivalries led up to the attack.

"As soon as I can see ... I will go back and do the same work. ... I am not afraid," Filin said.

Bolshoi dancer Pavel Dmitrichenko has been arrested on suspicion of organizing the attack, which was carried out by another man.

He told a Moscow court that he did ask for Filin to be beaten by an assailant, but never expected the man to use acid and cause such irreparable harm.  

With files from the Associated Press