Barcelona left-back Eric Abidal could play football again after undergoing a liver transplant, the doctor who conducted the operation has said.
The 32-year-old defender had surgery to remove a tumour on his liver in March 2011, but after returning to play, he was forced to undergo a transplant in April.
Abidal continues his daily recovery work at Barca's Ciutat Esportiva gym, despite the fact that there is still no estimation about when the Frenchman will be allowed to play again.
But doctor Juan Carlos Garcia-Valdecasas, the president of the International Liver Transplant Society (ILTS), insists that the Frenchman's career cannot yet be considered to be under threat.
"If he will play again? I do not rule anything out, but it depends on his capacity," Garcia-Valdecasas told TV3.
"What is normal is that non-sportsmen return to work after three to six months, sometimes after a year. And you have to give that amount of time to everyone.
"The first three to six months are crucial. It is important that there are no infections.
"I am really fond of him, and when Barca won the Copa del Rey and the players put his shirt inside the trophy, I felt connected with their action.
"He went through a tough situation, which was hard for him to take at first, but ever since he took it well, all that he has got are friends."