© foto di Alterphotos/Image Sport
Eric Abidal will be back in action before the year is out. Or at least that's what Xavi Hernández, the Barcelona vice-captain, told Barcelona-based newspaper 'Sport' in an interview: "He's in the gym every day, morning and night. I can't say it'll definitely be November, but he will be back in November or December".
"Abidal is impressive, he sets an example, and not just because he's a top professional. He keeps up spirits in the dressing room, he's the one who puts the music on, and he seems to be happier than we are, despite everything he's gone through", added Xavi, who stressed that the Frenchman "is a person who should stay at the club as a role model to the kids".
Xavi's remarks come a few weeks after Eric Abidal himself, on the occasion of his 33rd birthday, revealed he is targeting a comeback "before December". The defender had previously featured in the presentation of this year's Barcelona team prior to the Joan Gamper Trophy, at the beginning of September.
Abidal first underwent surgery after being diagnosed with liver cancer in 2011, surprising doctors by returning to action way ahead of the forecasts. However, earlier this year he was sidelined again because the tumour had reappeared and spread, making a liver transplant – his cousin was the donor – the only option. Now, the miracles of medicine and the Barça full-back's willpower mean that yet another Abidal comeback is on the horizon.