31 Mar 2013

Jesse Ryder out of induced coma

6:19 am on 31 March 2013

Cricketer Jesse Ryder is out of his medically-induced coma and off the ventilator machine he has been using to breathe.

Ryder, a former Black Cap, remains in intensive care in Christchurch Hospital following an attack which left him with a fractured skull and a collapsed lung.

The former Black Cap was assaulted outside a bar in Christchurch in the early hours of Thursday morning.

Ryder's manager, Aaron Klee said the 28-year-old was dazed and confused, but has been able to talk to his family.

"Jesse is awake and talking to us but he's obviously still working through the immediate effects of being in the coma and the drugs that the medical team have been using.

"Naturally we are absolutely thrilled with the progress, but this is only the start of the recovery process for Jesse and there's still a big battle ahead to full health."

Asked whether he thought Jesse Ryder would play cricket again, Mr Klee said he hoped he would and that there was a drive in Ryder that would get him out there again.

Mr Klee said the cricketer does not have any memory of the attack, but recalled getting a duck against Canterbury on Wednesday.

Ryder is expected to stay in intensive care for at least one more day.

He'd been socialising with his Wellington Firebirds' teammates at Aikmans bar in the suburb of Merivale.

Originally, it was suggested that up to four people had been involved, but after reviewing security footage police say they are sure that Ryder was attacked by two people.

Police say they are not looking for anyone else in relation to the brutal attack following the arrest of two men.

Police say Ryder was assaulted twice in quick succession - just outside the bar, then in a Macdonald's carpark nearby - and it was the second attack that caused the most harm.

A 20-year-old and his 37-year-old relative have been charged with assault and will appear in the Christchurch District Court on Thursday.

'Culture of violence'

A large banner has been hung on a wall outside the hospital which reads, "Christchurch is with you Jesse Ryder".

While laying flowers next to it on Saturday, supporter Geoff Urquhart said he was angry that the assault had happened in his home town.

"It actually makes me ashamed to be a Cantabrian at the moment. The last three times he's been here, he's been in trouble - it's not good."

Christchurch City Councillor Aaron Kewon wants people to tackle what has been called a culture of violence in the South Island city.

Mr Kewon says it is unacceptable that an incident like this has occurred, and violent acts are happening far too often in Christchurch.

"It's a little too regular for my liking. The fact that this happens at all is unacceptable; the fact that it may happen every few weeks is truly heartbreaking. Something has to be done about our violent culture."

Mr Kewon says one solution would be to put more police on the streets and for everyone to adopt a zero tolerance approach to violence.