Jesse Ryder targeting return to New Zealand team in Windies series

Wellington, Oct 20 (ANI): New Zealand batsman Jesse Ryder will return to cricket next week and is hoping to break into the national team by the time the West Indies tour starts in just over a month.

According to Stuff.co.nz, Ryder, whose six-month suspension for taking a banned stimulant ended yesterday, recently parted ways with long-time province Wellington to link up with Otago in Dunedin.

The Plunket Shield begins in a week with the Volts heading north to take on the Firebirds in the capital and Ryder is hoping the match will mark his return to the sport, the report said.

The 29-year-old hasn't played since late March when he was hospitalised after an early-morning altercation outside a bar in Christchurch, the report added.

He was left with a severe concussion and a lung injury before his subsequent doping ban further extended his time on the sidelines, the report further said.

Ryder said he was finally back to full fitness and didn't believe the injuries sustained in March would have impaired his sporting abilities.

After admitting to gaining weight during his convalescence, he has been going to the gym twice a day, six times a week and expected to start the new cricket season in potentially the best shape of his career, according to the report.

He said that his body was pretty good although he was still suffering a little with the head, but he had been training hard and it was slowly getting better. (ANI)

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