Soccer

Abidal makes 1st start since liver transplant

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BARCELONA, Spain (AP)

Eric Abidal has made his first start since a liver transplant, playing at center back in Barcelona's Spanish league home game against Levante.

Saturday's match marked the 33-year-old defender's first start since playing for France in an exhibition against Germany on Feb. 29, 2012. His previous start for Barcelona was three days earlier.

Abidal had a liver tumor removed on March 17, 2011, and underwent the liver transplant on April 10 last year. He returned to the field April 6 as a 69th-minute substitute against Mallorca and entered in the 77th minute eight days later against Real Zaragoza.

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