Barcelona defender Eric Abidal could return to play football again following a liver transplant, according to the surgeon who carried out the operation.
After returning to action following surgery to remove a tumour from his liver last year, the France international was then forced to undergo a transplant in April.
Doctor Juan Carlos Garcia-Valdecasas believes there is no reason why he should not return to the pitch again if the latest operation proves a success.
"It's up to him. I wouldn't stop him. Time will tell," Garcia-Valdecasas was quoted as telling Spanish television station TV3.
"If Eric responds well, there is no reason why he shouldn't.
"The liver is an organ that regenerates in three months. Abidal has to recover little by little, but between three and six months, or up to a year after the intervention, the patient is able to have a normal life.
"He is always in high spirits. He is a very positive character, it is tremendous. He has never complained about anything."
Barcelona players paid tribute to Abidal by draping a shirt with his name on it over the Spanish cup after securing the trophy against Athletic Bilbao last Friday.