Puyol - Abidal will be back

Barcelona defender confident of team-mate's return to action

Eric Abidal: Faces time away from football following the news he needs a liver transplant

Carles Puyol: Believes his Barcelona team-mate will recover and return to action again

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Barcelona defender Carles Puyol believes team-mate Eric Abidal will return for the Catalan giants following the news he requires a liver transplant.

Abidal underwent surgery last year to remove a tumour on his liver, but made a winning return when he started in the Blaugrana's UEFA Champions League final win over Manchester United.

Puyol found out about the latest news at training on Wednesday and believes the France international will return again following his latest diagnosis.

The 33 year-old said: "We had a meeting minutes before going on to the pitch. It was a rude awakening. Eric was at the meeting. We then talked to him, and logically that stays in the dressing room.

"It is him who encourages us. His attitude is an example. We are confident that he will come out of this. We will give him all the strength we have and we will support him and his family. I am convinced that soon he will be fine."

Abidal has featured heavily in for Barcelona this season, starting 20 Primera Liga games, and Puyol believes he will be sorely missed.

The Spain international added: "He is very strong, he showed that last season and will prove it again. It's a major blow. We had the news last season and now we get it again. But this will make us even stronger."