Barcelona defender Abidal to have liver transplant
Barcelona defender Eric Abidal is to undergo a liver transplant, the club have confirmed.
The France international had liver surgery a year ago after being diagnosed with a tumour.
A statement on Barcelona's official website read: "In the coming weeks, the player will undergo a liver transplant."
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 32-year-old underwent surgery last March but returned to play in Barcelona's Champions League final win over Manchester United, and has been a first-team regular this season.
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.