Bashed cricketer Jesse Ryder is back on his feet and improving at a "remarkable pace."
The 28-year-old, attacked outside Merivale bar, Aikmans, on Thursday morning, has improved to where he was yesterday moved from Christchurch Hospital's intensive care unit to another ward.
Speaking at Wellington Airport today, Ryder's manager Aaron Klee said the big-hitting batsman continued to improve at a remarkable pace.
''Nothing's changed medically in terms of official updates but he's just steadily improving and building up his strength so it's just resting time from here on in but you know, it's quite a remarkable improvement from 48 hours ago.
''He's absolutely talking, sitting there having conversations and he's up on his feet, it's nice to see the big guy back on his feet again.''
Comments from the rapper Scribe who suggested on Twitter that Ryder may have provoked the attack were of no concern, he said.
Scribe, real name Malo Luafutu, tweeted to his 4226 followers at the weekend: "I'd like to know what Jesse Ryder did or said. Cantabrians don't beat people up for no reason #Crusader." (sic)
He followed this hours later by two more tweets.
"I'm not making excuses I genuinely would like to know what started the whole thing. No-one gets beaten up for nothing." (sic)
"But if you come to chch and act a certain way and are not humble and start looking for trouble .. u will find it." (sic)
Twitter users were quick to jump to Ryder's defence.
One wrote: "@mcscribe's idiot comments are a reflection on him, not on Christchurch".
Ryder had not mentioned the comments and everyone at the hospital had been in a bubble, only concerned with his recovery, Klee said.
''I read them, I didn't really take too much notice. There's lots of fantastic people in Christchurch and I don't think it's any reflection of Christchurch, there's been a lot of support and well-wishers.''
While Ryder's condition had improved considerably there were no plans to transfer him to Wellington Hospital and his release would depend on several factors, including any lingering effects of his concussion.
Several messages of support had come in from overseas, including the Indian Premier League team Ryder was due to take up a $300,000 contract with this week.
''We've had lot's of calls from them, they've shown lots of support as have other teams that he's played for over there and Jesse is really disappointed he wasn't able to go and participate in that, he was really looking forward to it and he's a bit gutted.''
Klee's comments today followed the issuing of a statement from Ryder yesterday in which he thanked the public for their support.
"I just want to let everyone know that I'm OK," the statement said.
"I feel heaps better today but still really tired.
"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."
Two men, aged 20 and 37, who are related, have been charged with assault in connection with the attack on the cricketer.
They have been released on bail to appear in the Christchurch District Court on Thursday.
- The Press
Should bouncers be banned from cricket?