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 on Saturday.
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 and police said they were not looking for anyone else, although witnesses said up to four people were involved in what they believed was an unprovoked attack.
“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.”
Witnesses said Ryder was left "shaking, vomiting and covered in blood" after he was repeatedly punched and kicked.
Klee also added that Ryder had no recollection of the attack.
"He remembers getting a duck ... not much after that," he said, referring to Ryder's dismissal during his Wellington side's season-ending loss earlier in the day to Canterbury in a limited overs match.
Ryder had been expected to travel to India for the Indian Premier League 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.