Football

Barcelona full-back Eric Abidal plays first match since liver surgery

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The France international managed 65 minutes of the game against French Ligue 2 side Istres at Barca's training ground.

The 33-year-old has been sidelined for over a year after undergoing a liver transplant last April, having previously had surgery to remove a tumour in March 2011.

He miraculously made a comeback only months after the first operation to feature in Barcelona's 3-1 Champions League final victory over Manchester United.

After the second operation the full-back has since been working on his recovery process, and is now one step closer to making his first-team comeback after getting playing time with the reserves.

Abidal's first training session was back in October before he re-joined his teammates for squad sessions in mid-December, but he was not given the go-ahead to return to competitive action until February 21. 

The former Olympic Lyonnais defender last featured for Barcelona in La Liga on February 26, 2012, against Atletico Madrid.

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