Abidal hoping to return to action in December

The French defender has been sidelined for four months after undergoing a liver transplant, but has now revealed he hopes to be back on the pitch before the year's end
Barcelona's Eric Abidal has revealed that he hopes to return to playing football before the new year, but insists he will take the time necessary to recover from his operation.

The left-back underwent liver transplant in April and has not played since, but he was able to appear at Barcelona's penalty shoot-out victory in their friendly against Paris Saint-Germain on Saturday.

"I feel good, I follow the process. To play by December is the goal," the 32-year old told TV3.

"It was very hard, especially when things became more complicated following the surgery. Now I need to give it the time necessary."

The Frenchman went on to praise new Blaugrana coach Tito Vilanova, who took over the reins from Pep Guardiola following his decision to take a sabbatical from the game.

"Tactically, Tito is very strong, able to change a system quickly. He can win it all, with hard work. It would be nice to see Tito repeat everything that was done with Guardiola."

Barcelona's next fixture comes in the form of a high-profile friendly against Manchester United on August 7.