Barcelona have confirmed that experienced defender Eric Abidal is to undergo a liver transplant in the coming weeks.
The France international previously had surgery almost 12 months ago to remove a tumour from his liver and he now requires a transplant.
A club statement read: "In the coming weeks, the player will undergo a liver transplant.
"The transplant was an option which was indicated from the start of his treatment a year ago.
"At the express wish of the player, the club requests the utmost respect for the right to privacy and confidentiality."
Following his initial treatment in March last year, Abidal made an emotional return to action before the end of the season and started Barca's UEFA Champions League final win over Manchester United.
The 32-year-old also helped France secure a place at Euro 2012 before he ended any doubts regarding his club future by signing a new contract at Camp Nou in January.
He has started 20 Primera Division games this term, although he has not played since suffering a hip injury playing for France in their friendly win over Germany at the start of the month.
Barcelona did not give any indication regarding how long Abidal would be out of action.