Wellington: New Zealand’s Jesse Ryder told police on Tuesday he has no memory of the vicious attack that left him critically injured in hospital last week.
The 28-year-old suffered serious head and lung injuries following the beating that prompted warnings for New Zealand’s sports elite to be on their guard when out in public.
Ryder was punched and kicked as he left a bar in the South Island city of Christchurch early on Thursday morning after a night out drinking with his Wellington teammates.
Although his condition has improved sufficiently for him to be moved out of the hospital intensive care unit, the last thing he remembers is being dismissed in a cricket match on Wednesday.
“Unfortunately Ryder has no recollection of what took place or the events leading up to the incident,” detective senior sergeant Brian Archer said after interviewing the player.
“Should Ryder gain sufficient recollection as his recovery continues, then we may look to speak to him again, however there are no immediate plans to re-interview him at this time.”
Psychologist Karen Nimmo, who has worked with Ryder for five years, said high-profile sports stars have to be able to engage with the public for a sense of normality but there were risks with that.
“Once you are going out you need to be with a mate, a buddy system, making sure you stay in the group and look after each other... Otherwise there is potential for things to happen,” she said.
Former All Blacks coach Graham Henry said other teams may have to follow the rugby example and have security personnel accompany their players to bars.
“They just keep an eye on things from a distance and make sure things are happening that should be happening and just look after them,” he said. “So there’s no opportunity for these sort of things to happen.”
Two men aged 20 and 37, who are related to each other, are to appear in court on Thursday charged in connection with the attack on Ryder.