Abidal aiming to return for Barcelona by end of year after transplant
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.
Abidal 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.
Updated: August 5, 2012 04:00 AM