BARCELONA - Agence France-Presse
Barcelona defender Abidal (R) received part of his cousin Gerard’s liver. AFP photo
defender Eric Abidal is “improving” in hospital, the club’s president Sandro Rosell said yesterday, a day after the player underwent a liver transplant operation.
“Both Abidal and his cousin are improving although I can’t give more information at the request of the family,” he told reporters.
The 32-year-old player received part of his cousin Gerard’s liver at a Barcelona hospital in a lengthy procedure reportedly lasting nine hours on Tuesday.
The surgery started at about 3:00pm local time and finished at midnight, the Catalan daily Mundo Deportivo said. He was then taken to a specialist unit for post-operative care, it added.
Barcelona’s deputy financial director Javier Faus said the length of the surgery was because the player was receiving a partial organ transplant from a living donor.
“It is a long operation during which you have to first operate on the person who is donating the organ, then move on to the person who is receiving it,” he said.
Barcelona announced on March 15 that Abidal needed a liver transplant “in the coming weeks”, nearly a year after he had a tumour removed from the same organ.
Barcelona midfielder Sergio Busquets said at a post-training press conference yesterday that all Abidal’s colleagues wished him well.
“I want to send him all my support and strength. I am sure he has received the signs of support that have been sent out in recent days from the squad, from fans and from people in general,” he added.