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 has been 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."

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