Abidal goes home after liver transplant

Barcelona defender Eric Abidal has been discharged from hospital after undergoing a liver transplant last month.

The Catalan club announced in March that the 32-year-old Frenchman needed a transplant almost exactly a year after the defender had surgery to remove a liver tumour, with Abidal’s cousin Gerard donating the organ. A short statement on Barca’s website yesterday said: “The French defender was discharged form hospital today after his liver transplant on 10 April.”

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The club’s medical services released a bulletin stating: “Given the particulars of his recovery process. Abidal will have to undergo a number of hospital check-ups.” Following his first operation in March 2011, Abidal was out for just seven weeks, returning to the team for the end-of-season run-in with a number of substitute appearances.

His only start during that spell was in the Champions League final victory over Manchester United, when he was given the honour of lifting the trophy.