Abidal eyes December return as Barca defender continues recovery from liver transplant
11:23 GMT, 5 August 2012
Recovering well: Abidal hopes to be back in December
Barcelona defender Eric Abidal is hopeful of a return to action before the end of the year.
The 61-cap France international has been out of action since undergoing a liver transplant in April, having undergone treatment on a tumour last year.
He recovered from the original treatment before the end of the 2010-11 season and lifted the Champions League Trophy after Barca's victory over Manchester United, and was cleared to do so again by his doctors.
And he told the club's official website: 'I have started working in the gym and I feel fine. I will keep progressing and see if I can play before December.
'I'm better than three months ago. I am following the guidelines that the doctors have given me and the truth is I feel fine.
'I travel and enjoy being around the team and that environment.'
Barca have signed Spain international Jordi Alba to operate in Abidal's usual left-back position, although the 32-year-old's versatility also allows him to play in central defence should new coach Tito Vilanova wish to use the pair in the same line-up.
Show of support: Arch rivals Real Madrid wore t-shirts wishing Abidal well in March