Eric Abidal plays first match since liver transplant

Barcelona says Eric Abidal has played his first match since receiving a liver transplant and club officials say he is almost fit enough for first-team selection.

The 33-year-old France defender played 65 minutes of a reserve team match against French second-division side Istres.

Team doctor Ricard Pruna said it was difficult for anyone to obtain medical clearance to play after such an operation, but Abidal was “gradually reaching the same level as his teammates.”

The friendly was Abidal’s first game since his last appearance for Barcelona in February 2012.

Abidal had a liver tumor removed in March 2011 before doctors determined he needed a transplant almost a year ago.

Pruna said “I don’t think it’ll be long before he’s named in the squad.”

Read more :
  • India-born Manchester United fan bashed up in UK in alleged racist attack
    A 56-year-old India-born football fan was beaten up badly by seven men and punched in the face and head more than 18 times on a packed tram in UK, as 200 onlookers did nothing to save him f...
  • Michael Owen ponders move into management
    Michael Owen is contemplating a move into management or coaching when he retires from football at the end of the season. The 33-year-old Stoke and ex-England striker said Tuesday he will c...
  • Allardyce close to new Hammers deal
    West Ham manager Sam Allardyce on Wednesday claimed he is close to signing a new contract with the Premier League club. Allardyce's current deal with the Hammers expires at the end of the ...
  • Nolte finishes third in Malaysia chess meet
    Filipino International Master (IM) Rolando Nolte finished third overall in the DYTM Raja Dr Nazrin Shah Invitational Kuala Lumpur Masters 2013 held at the Swiss Inn in Malaysia. Nolte spli...
  • Motor racing: Kubica to test DTM car but F1 a long way off
    LONDON - Polish driver Robert Kubica will test a Mercedes DTM touring car in Spain this week but any Formula One return remains a long way off as he continues his rehabilitation from a near...
  • BECKHAM SENDS ‘LOVE’ TO CHINA STAMPEDE INJURED
    SHANGHAI: Football superstar David Beckham on Friday sent his love to people hurt in a stampede at a Shanghai event, as fans praised him despite the incident. Seven people were injured in a...
  • Netter Huey, partner advance in London
    Filipino-American Treat Huey and British partner Dominic Inglot scored a straight-set victory to advance to the second round of the 2013 Wimbledon Championships men’s doubles being held in ...
  • Glock leaves Marussia F1 team
    LONDON - German Formula One driver Timo Glock has left Marussia with immediate effect and by mutual consent, the Russian-licensed team said on Monday. They added that a replacement would b...