When Eric Abidal underwent surgery in 2011 to remove a tumor from his liver, returning to football wasn't the first thing on his mind. That was also true on April 10, 2012 when he had a liver transplant. Getting healthy and living a full life took precedence over football, but now it appears as if things are going well enough that football is back on the mind of the Barcelona defender.
Abidal has already returned to the gym so step one of getting fit again is underway, but he has already jumped ahead to the endpoint -- his return to the pitch. After watching Barcelona's friendly versus PSG, Abidal said that he was eying a December return to the pitch.
"I have started working in the gym and I feel good," Abidal told Catalan TV3. "I am on the way and let's see if I can get back playing before December.
"That is the objective, but if I have to wait until after that it's not a problem. I am better than I was three months ago. I am following the doctors' guidelines and the truth is I feel good. I am able to travel and enjoy the football and being with the team."
If Abidal does return in December it will be just eight months after his transplant, an incredible recovery by a man who has been nothing short of remarkable for two years now. Playing football at the top level is hard enough, but doing it while battling serious and life-threatening liver problems is seemingly impossible. Abidal has handled it marvelously, though, and now the 32-year-old his eyes on his return. That alone is good enough news and that the football world might get one of the world's best left backs back is just the icing on the cake.