Liga - Abidal continues recovery with Barcelona training match

Barcelona left-back Eric Abidal has taken part in his first training match since undergoing a liver transplant last April.

Liga - Abidal continues recovery with Barcelona training match

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Barcelona's French defender Eric Abidal looks on during a training session (AFP)

The former France international played 65 minutes of a friendly against French second-division side Istres at Barca's training ground outside the Catalan capital.

The 33-year-old, given the all-clear by medical staff last month, last played in a 2-1 win at Atletico Madrid just over a year ago and returned to training in December.

Assuming he will soon be available for the first team, his return to action is well timed as Barca centre-back Carles Puyol and left-back Adriano are both out injured at a crucial stage of the season.

Barca are 13 points clear of champions Real Madrid at the top of La Liga with 10 games left and play their Champions League quarter-final first leg at Paris St Germain in two weeks.

"It is not possible to say exactly when he will return but his spirits are good because he sees that there is only a short way to go," club doctor Ricard Pruna said.

"I don't think it will take long to see him called up into the squad," he added. "It will depend on the coaching staff but we are close."

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