Barca’s Abidal cleared to play after liver transplant

2013-02-21 16:45

Madrid – Barcelona defender Eric Abidal has been cleared to return to first-team action, 10 months after undergoing a liver transplant.

“After training this morning, Eric Abidal has received the good news that he has now been given the all-clear and will therefore be available for the team to take part for the rest of the season,” said a statement on the club’s website today.

Abidal first had a tumour removed from his liver in March 2011 but returned to playing less than two months later and lifted the Champions League trophy as Barca won the competition for a fourth time in May of that year.

The Frenchman has, though, not played for Barca since February last year, two months before he had the full transplant. However, the club insist he is prepared for a return to competitive action after a gruelling recuperation process.

“Abidal has followed a long recuperation process. At the beginning of October, the number 22, accompanied by club physio Emili Ricart, spent a number of days in Vall d’Aran where he followed a specific training plan,” the statement continued.

“Two months later, on December 19, the player began to work with the group.”

Midfielder Xavi said he was delighted to see Abidal back and highlighted him as an example to the rest of his team-mates.

“The return of Abidal is the best news of the day and of the year. Watching him train is an example in sport and in life,” he said.

And Barca captain Carles Puyol also welcomed the 33-year-old’s return, describing it as the perfect lift after a disappointing 2-0 defeat to AC Milan in the Champions League last night.

“After the blow of yesterday, today there is great news for all Barca fans and for football as Abidal gets the all-clear. We are all with you and be strong,” he said on his Twitter account.

Organ transplant specialists have doubted whether the former Lyon man would be able to make a return to top-flight football, given the potential risk of damage to the new organ in a physical sport like football.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.