Jesse Ryder is out of his induced coma and has begun talking again as he embarks upon the long and arduous road towards a full recovery from his assault in Christchurch on Wednesday night.
Ryder's manager Aaron Klee said the New Zealand batsman was also now breathing without the assistance of a ventilator, though he is still battling the effects of his coma and the drugs used to aid his fight against serious head and lung injuries.
"Jesse's condition has improved to the extent that he is now out of the induced coma and off the ventilator," Klee said in Christchurch. "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. Again the family wishes to extend their sincere thanks to everyone for their messages of support and love. They mean a lot and will help Jesse no end in his journey ahead."
Klee said that Ryder had no recollection of the events that left him in hospital, his last memory of the day being his dismissal for a duck during the Wellington Firebirds' season ending loss to Canterbury in the afternoon.
"It's not like it is in the movies where they wake up peacefully and they give everyone a big hug. It takes a while, there's a lot of confusion and he's dazed," Klee said. ''[But] he knows where he is, he knows what's happened and he knows I'm here now talking to you. It's leaps and bounds from 24 hours ago.
"He's still got quite serious lung injuries and they're keeping an eye on that because there's a lot that potentially can go wrong with the lungs, so monitoring that very closely but at this stage they don't need to support his breathing, which is a great milestone.
"It was great to have him order us around again."
Ryder had gone with teammates to Aikmans Bar in Merivale where around 12.30am, while making his way to join other Wellingston 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 court on Thursday, April 4.