La Liga

Abidal returns after liver transplant

Barcelona's Eric Abidal celebrates winning the Champions League
Abidal took part in his first team training session since his liver transplant.
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BARCELONA, Spain (AP)

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Barcelona defender Eric Abidal has taken part in his first team training session since a liver transplant nine months ago.

Abidal's return on Wednesday coincided with the announcement that Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova would need surgery and chemotherapy after the recurrence of a throat ailment.

The 33-year-old Abidal underwent surgery to remove a liver tumor in March 2011 and returned to the team at full strength before the end of that season.

The France international had to stop playing a second time last spring when doctors determined he needed a transplant.

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