Sydney: New Zealand cricketer Jesse Ryder was punched only once and his injuries were not as serious as reported, a lawyer for one of the two men charged with assaulting him told a court.
Jonathan Eaton said Ryder was sharing a friendly drink with the accused before a dispute broke out, and the cricketer was injured as he fell to the ground ‘after being punched once’.
Police have said Ryder was rushed to hospital in a critical condition after the assault outside a bar in the South Island city of Christchurch a week ago.
The police added that Ryder was also put into an induced coma suffering from a fractured skull and internal injuries.
Eaton, however, said witness accounts that Ryder had been punched and kicked were ‘wildly inaccurate’ and he had not in fact suffered a fractured skull.
The two men, a 37-year-old and his 20-year-old nephew, appeared in the Christchurch District Court charged with assault and were bailed to re-appear in two weeks.
According to the report, Eaton told the court the men had been at a family dinner when the chance meeting with Ryder occurred.
He said the meeting started in a ‘highly convivial’ manner with drinks being shared but a dispute followed, the report added.