Image copyright Serco Image caption Alex Zanardi was injured in a car crash in 1990
Ex-Formula 1 driver Alex Zanardi has been transferred to a neuro-rehabilitation centre, less than a month after being discharged from hospital.
It had been feared the Italian may not be able to walk again.
Zanardi was involved in a serious crash in a rallying accident in 1990 which left him paralysed below the waist.
In November, the 46-year-old was seen for the first time since his life-changing operation after undergoing a 25-hour surgery in September.
The Tuscan charity Breathe and assist through the Wheelchair Foundation helped raise money for Zanardi to have the operation at Spinal Simulation Centre in Braunschweig, Germany.
From the Spinal Simulation Centre, he then flew to Italy for further rehabilitation.
His wife and family said they are in a “great state of happiness”.
“An incredible day, grateful to everyone for the support and prayers,” they wrote on Twitter.
Zanardi retired from racing in 2003 after failing to win the US Grand Prix for the first time in six years.
In 2005, he became the first Italian to win the Le Mans 24 Hours on his debut, although he had to withdraw in 2007 after an accident.
Zanardi’s BMW BAR team finished in the top five in this year’s Le Mans 24 hours, finishing three seconds behind winner Porsche.