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Rescue workers transport injured skier Hans Grugger on a stretcher at the heliport in Kitzbuehel, Austria, last Thursday. ((Kerstin Joensson/Associated Press) )

Doctors started trying to wake Hans Grugger from an induced coma on Tuesday, five days after the Austrian skier underwent brain surgery following a near-fatal downhill training crash.

The University Hospital in Innsbruck, Austria, said in a statement that "the most recent tests … have gone so well that the team of doctors has started Hans Grugger's wake-up process."

Doctors were slowly reducing medicines that keep Grugger in a coma to monitor the reactions of the skier's body.

The process would take several days, the hospital said.

As soon as Grugger reached sufficient consciousness, doctors would start detailed neurological tests which could give an indication of the skier's recovery.

The 29-year-old Grugger lost balance in a long jump on the demanding Streif course on Thursday.

He smashed his head on the icy slope and landed motionless.

He was brought to a hospital by helicopter and underwent a five-hour emergency operation.

After a similar accident two years ago, Swiss skier Daniel Albrecht suffered brain and lung injuries and was kept in an induced coma for 16 days before fully recovering and returning to World Cup ski racing.