Barcelona has announced on its official website that defender Eric Abidal will undergo a liver transplant in the next few weeks.
The France international fought off the effects of a liver tumor in 2011, and returned to full match fitness in time for the Champions League final. A liver transplant had been an option from the start of his treatment, but Abidal only opted for a procedure to remove the tumor.
"In the upcoming weeks, the player will undergo a liver transplant in light of the evolution of his liver. The transplant has been an option right from the start of his treatment a year ago. At the request of the player, Barcelona ask for discretion and the utmost respect for the player's privacy," an official statement reads.
Meanwhile, Barcelona skipper Carles Puyol has expressed his support for Abidal and praised the 32-year-old defender for his exemplary attitude.
"The main thing now is for Abidal to recover. The team is united, we'll stand by his side. His attitude is an example for us," Puyol said during a press conference.