New Zealand batsman Jesse Ryder is close to returning to the international stage, four months after he was viciously assaulted.
The 28-year-old left-hander was left in a coma and with a fractured skull after he was beaten up outside a Christchurch bar in March.
However Ryder, who had stepped back from international cricket due to personal issues, is working hard towards a return according to his manager Aaron Klee.
Speaking to the Otago Daily Times, Klee said: "At some point, Jesse needs to get back into international cricket. He just needed some time to sort himself out. We're getting close to that point.
"After what happened in Christchurch, we realised there wasn't much point sitting around. It's time to get back on the horse and get the career charging again.
"All going well, it won't take him that long to get back into international cricket."
Klee confirmed that Ryder, who has scored 1,269 runs in 18 Tests at an average of 40.93, has already held conversations with New Zealand coach Mike Hesson.
"He met with Mike Hesson for a good talk last week," he added. "We've maintained communication with the Black Caps right through this hiatus."