‘‘She seems able to understand. She’s got motor control, she’s able to write.
‘‘Whether there’s any subtle intellectual or memory deficits down the line is too early to say,’’ he added.
‘‘It is possible she will make a smooth recovery, but it is impossible to tell I'm afraid.’’
Malala needs time to recover her strength before surgery to reconstruct her skull, either with her own bone or a titanium plate, the hospital said in a briefing note. That could be weeks or months in the future.
The bullet, which was removed by surgeons in Pakistan, hit Malala’s left brow. It traveled beneath the skin and into the neck, damaging soft tissue at the base of the jaw and base of the neck, the note said.
‘‘There is every sign that she understands why she’s here,’’ Rosser said.
‘‘It’s a very difficult position for her, clearly, because she has gone from being on a school bus and the next thing she will be consciously aware of is being in a strange hospital in a different country.’’
Officials in the Swat Valley originally said Malala was 14 years old, but officials at her school confirmed that her birthday was July 12, 1997, making her 15, as the U.S. public broadcaster NPR reported earlier.
Jill Lawless in London contributed to this report.