Sydney: Sean Abbott, the man who bowled the delivery that fatally struck Phillip Hughes on the head, returned to bowling on Tuesday, over a week after the on-field tragedy.
There has been great concern shown for the talented and hardworking Abbott since he delivered the ball that tragically struck Hughes in the freak accident at the Sydney Cricket Ground last week.
The 22-year-old rolled his arm over in the SCG nets at a New South Wales optional training session, the Courier Mail reported. Abbott made his Australian one-day and T20 debuts just two months ago, and in an encouraging sign he will attempt to return to cricket as soon as possible, the report said.
Today's NSW training session was optional, but the vast majority of the squad were there for it.
NSW and Cricket Australia officials have been careful to point out that Abbott is not alone in feeling traumatised by last week's events. Others like David Warner and Brad Haddin were also immediately around the bat when the incident occurred.
But there has been an outpouring of concern for Abbott from around the cricketing world for the unthinkable position he found himself in. Doug Bollinger and other teammates have rallied around Abbott since last Tuesday, and the young pacer has spent time with Hughes' sister Megan and Michael Clarke.
Hundreds of current and former players will converge on Macksville to pay their respects to Hughes tomorrow. Abbott has shown immense resolve in recent days, sending text messages outlining his willingness to attend what will be a heart-wrenching service.
Cricket NSW chief executive Andrew Jones was reluctant to discuss Abbott's mental state but confirmed he will join the Blues squad in Macksville tomorrow. "I don't want to make a big deal of it, the whole NSW team will be there" he said.
"We are trying to get the past the stage of singling him out, we are treating Sean as one of the team," Jones said. Asked how Abbott was handling a week of grief, he said: "I won't comment on that ... It's best we leave him be at the moment."