Just nine days after Westhauser's spectacular rescue from an 11-day ordeal trapped deep inside a cave in the Bavarian Alps, he is almost ready to go back to his normal life.
"He's almost completely back to health," said Marc Schaan, head of the neuro-rehabilitation clinic in Murnau, Bavaria, on Tuesday.
Westhauser is feeling much better, Schaan said, and has been enjoying regular visits from his family.
Medical professionals had been banking on a much longer healing period for the scientist, who works for the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology.
"He'll need a little bit longer to rehabilitate," said Schaan, who along with his colleagues initially said Westhauser would require several months to fully heal.
According to Schaan, the explorer will now undergo a period of rehabilitation before he can be sent home.
The 52-year-old received a skull injury when he was hit by a falling rock around 1,000 metres below ground in the Riesending cave near Berchtesgaden, Bavaria in early June.
Rescue mission chief Klemens Reindl spoke of a "mammoth task" which involved 202 rescuers below ground out of a total of 728 staff and volunteers in caving, medical and emergency services from Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy and Croatia.
The cave has since been closed off with a huge steel fence to prevent curious visitors attempting to enter.
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