New Zealand batsman Jesse Ryder has been moved out of the intensive care unit and has reassured his well-wishers that he is feeling "heaps better" and overwhelmed by the number of messages wishing him a speedy recovery from his assault on Wednesday night in Christchurch. Ryder is in a stable condition in a ward at the Christchurch hospital.
"I just want to let everyone know that I'm ok. I feel heaps better today but still really tired," Ryder stated in a press release by New Zealand Cricket. "I've been reading your messages that have been sent so thank you to everyone for thinking of me over the last few days.
"I want to thank everyone who has been caring for me at the hospital - they have been awesome. Thank you to my family and friends who have been here also."
Ryder's manager, Aaron Klee, said the batsman may not be making further statements in the immediate future, as he focuses on his recovery.
"Now that Jesse is out of intensive care, we aren't planning on providing further updates in the media, as it is time for Jesse to focus on his recovery and getting back to full health," Klee said.
Ryder had come out of his induced coma on Saturday and had begun talking again and breathing without the assistance of the ventilator. Earlier on Thursday, he had given a 'thumbs up' sign to the neurosurgeon and had started interacting with his family and manager.
Klee said on Sunday that Ryder was itching to get out of hospital when told of how the country was worrying about his welfare.
"He's been quite cheeky. We've had some giggles this afternoon, mainly one-word-type conversations," Klee told the New Zealand Herald. "I've told him he's one of the most talked-about people in New Zealand.
"He asked me about cricket but I just said to him, 'It's going to be a while before you are playing cricket, mate'."
Ryder had gone with team-mates to Aikmans Bar in Merivale where around 12.30am, while making his way to join other Wellington players at a nearby McDonalds, he had been attacked twice in the space of a few minutes, suffering heavy blows to the head and chest that left him with a skull fracture and a collapsed lung.
Police have arrested two men in connection with the assaults, a 20-year-old Christchurch resident and a 37-year-old relative who was visiting the city. They have been bailed to appear in the Christchurch District Court on Thursday, April 4.