La Liga

Abidal cleared to make return

 Barcelona's Eric Abidal gestures to his team mates
Barcelona's Eric Abidal gestures to his team mates during a training session.
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Barcelona defender Eric Abidal has been given the all-clear to resume his playing career after almost 12 months on the sidelines.

Abidal has been recovering after undergoing a liver transplant last April, having previously had surgery to remove a tumour in March 2011.

He started training again in October and was then able to re-join his team-mates for squad sessions in mid-December.

The France international was admitted to hospital again last month for further tests and the 33-year-old has now been given the green light to return to action.

A Barca statement read: "After training this morning, Eric Abidal has received the good news that he has been given his medical discharge and is therefore available for the team going into the final part of the season."

Abidal's last appearance for Barca was on February 26, 2012 against Atletico Madrid.

Barca are 12 points clear of second-placed Atletico in La Liga with 14 games to go, with Sevilla the visitors to the Nou Camp this weekend.

They are also in the semi-finals of the Copa del Rey, where they are locked at 1-1 with Real Madrid after the first leg at the Bernabeu, and in the last-16 of the Champions League, where they lost their first leg 2-0 to AC Milan Wednesday night.

Barca midfielder Xavi hailed Abidal's return to fitness. He said: "It's the best news of the year.

"It's not a great day coming back after a 2-0 defeat, but seeing Abidal, how he trains and gives it everything and that he's now able to return to playing is a source of motivation. It's the best news we could have had."

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