From the Back Pages, December 3: Phillip Hughes death: Hughes family ready to give bowler Sean Abbott ‘a big kiss and a hug’ after he returns to training

From the back pages
From the back pages

Sean Abbott has returned to training along with his New South Wales Blues side just a week after the tragic accident that claimed the life of Australian batsman Phillip Hughes. (The Independent)

The emotional fallout from the death of Phil Hughes has not ceased to affect the England team. Their first international against Sri Lanka was overshadowed by his injury the day before the game, the second by his death two days earlier, while the third is scheduled to start a few hours after his funeral. Steve Finn played alongside Hughes at Middlesex in 2009. In Hambantota on Tuesday evening he answered questions from the written media calmly enough on the subject, but afterwards was so visibly upset that he could not bring himself to cover the same painful ground in his BBC interview. (The Telegraph)

Manchester United’s European exile means that December dawned before Louis van Gaal has taken charge of his first competitive match under the floodlights at Old Trafford. At this rate, the Dutchman will not have to wait so long next year. (Daily Mail)

STEVEN GERRARD’S future at Liverpool may be in doubt but he turned back the clock to score in a 3-1 victory at struggling Leicester City. (The Express)

Thomas Muller says it would “be almost boring” if Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo retains the Ballon d’Or again this year. (The Mirror)

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini is short of defensive options for Wednesday’s trip to Sunderland following the loss of Vincent Kompany to injury. (The Guardian)

Manuel Pellegrini has insisted that Manchester City do not need to change their style despite a frustrating start to the defence of their Barclays Premier League title. (The Times)