French Muslim footballer Eric Abidal has been admitted to hospital in Spain to undergo medical examinations following his kidney transplant. The 33-year-old, who plays defense for Spanish giants Barcelona, underwent a kidney transplant on April 10, 2012 in the aftermath of complications that arose from previous surgery to remove a tumor in March of 2011. Abidalâ€™s cousin Gerard was the donor.
A statement on BarÃ§elonaâ€™s official website read: â€œEric Abidal will spend between three to four days at Barcelonaâ€™s Hospital Clinic for examinations of the development of the transplant that he underwent last April. By express wish of the player, the club is asking for the utmost respect for his privacy and confidentiality.â€
Transplant specialists at the time of his surgery questioned whether Abidal would be able to make a return to top-flight football, given the potential risk of damage to the new kidney. Abidal returned to full training in October but is yet to make his return to the Barcelona first team, despite being given the all-clear to play in December. The club said last week that Abidal was expected to register with the Spanish football federation by the end of January as a final formality before being allowed to play.