WELLINGTON, (Reuters) – New Zealand cricketer Jesse Ryder has regained consciousness and is talking to friends and family as he recovers from an alleged assault in Christchurch earlier this week, his manager said yesterday.
Ryder, 28, was rushed to hospital early on Thursday with serious head injuries after being involved in two altercations outside a bar and fast food restaurant in Merivale, a suburb of Christchurch. Local media reported Ryder had sustained a fractured skull and a collapsed lung in the assault. Two men have been charged with assault and will appear in court on April 4.
“Jesse’s condition has improved to the extent that he is now out of the induced coma and off the ventilator,” Ryder’s manager Aaron Klee said in a statement issued through New Zealand Cricket.
“Jesse is awake and talking to us, but he is obviously still working through the immediate effects from being in the coma and the drugs the medical team have been using.
“Naturally we are thrilled with this progress. “This is only the start of the recovery process for Jesse and there is still a big battle ahead to full health, but the progress is positive.”
Ryder had been expected to travel to India for the lucrative Twenty20 tournament with the Delhi Daredevils this week, but had been in a self-imposed exile from international cricket after a series of alcohol-related incidents. Despite publicly swearing off alcohol, Ryder had begun drinking again in recent weeks, New Zealand Cricket Players Association chief executive Heath Mills said on Thursday. Police, however, told reporters on Thursday they did not think alcohol was a factor in the alleged assault.
Ryder was not expected to return to international cricket for New Zealand’s tour of England in May-June, following their 0-0 draw in the recently completed home test series.
An aggressive batsman with a superb eye and delicate touch, Ryder has made 1,269 runs in 18 tests at an average of 40.93 with a highest score of 201 and 1,100 runs in 39 one-day internationals at 34.37.