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The former Athletic Bilbao coach has revealed the French defender has hinted at making his first-team comeback for Barcelona in this weekend's Liga clash

Former France international Luis Fernandez has said that Eric Abidal told him he could return to action for Barcelona against Mallorca.

The Frenchman, who has been absent for over a year following a liver transplant last April, was named in the squad for the 2-2 draw with Celta Vigo last weekend, although he did not make an appearance.

Former Athletic Bilbao boss Fernandez, now a radio talk show host with RMC, has claimed the 33-year-old spoke to him of his progress in training and hinted at a possible return to action on Saturday.

"Abidal told me he felt good and could maybe play this weekend against Mallorca," the 53-year-old told Radio Montecarlo.

There are suggestions that Abidal could be rushed back into action in time for the Champions League quarter-final second leg with Paris Saint-Germain, with injuries to Carles Puyol and Javier Mascherano leaving Barca short on numbers in defence.

Fernandez, however, insists there are plenty of options at Tito Vilanova's disposal aside from Abidal.

"Barca have youngsters such as [Sergio] Busquets, [Alex] Song and [Marc] Bartra," he added. "They have several options to replace him [Mascherano]."

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