Home » La Liga, Latest » Barca’s Eric Abidal set to undergo liver transplant

Barcelona have announced that defender Eric Abidal will have a liver transplant in the coming weeks.

The France international was diagnosed with liver cancer in March 2011.

And just two-and-a-half months after undergoing a three-hour operation to remove the tumour the left-back played the full 90 minutes in the Champions League final win over Manchester United at Wembley.

The club statement said: ‘Given the development of his medical condition, Abidal will undergo a liver transplant in the following weeks.

‘The transplant is an option that has been considered since the beginning of his treatment, one year ago.

‘At the express wish of the player, the club requested the utmost respect for the right to privacy and confidentiality.’

Barcelona did not give any indication of for how long Abidal would be out of action.

The squad were told the latest news at training on Thursday.

‘We had a meeting minutes before going on to the pitch,’ Spain defender Carlos Puyol said. ‘It was a rude awakening. Eric was at the meeting. We then talked to him, and logically that stays in the dressing room.’

Puyol claimed Abidal was in good spirits.

‘It is him who encourages us. His attitude is an example,’ he added. ‘We are confident that he will come out of this. We will give him all the strength we have and we will support him and his family. I am convinced that soon he will be fine.

‘He is very strong, he showed that last season and will prove it again It’s a major blow. We had the news last season and now we get it again. But this will make us even stronger.’

Abidal’s Barcelona team-mate Gerard Pique backed the Frenchman to return stronger than ever.

He posted on his Twitter account: ‘And you will return as always, still the best! You are an example for all! £ animoabidal.’

Abidal missed just seven weeks following his surgery last year, returning to the team for the end-of-season run-in with a number of substitute appearances, although his only start was in the Champions League final when he was given the honour of lifting the trophy.

He has started 20 Primera Division games this term, although he has not played since suffering a hip injury playing for France in their friendly win over Germany at the start of the month.

The Catalan giants have 12 games left to play this season in the Primera Division and are through to the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

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