Barcelona defender Eric Abidal is in fitness training in a mountain camp and practising football for the first time since his April liver transplant, the club has revealed.
Abidal, who underwent the operation on April 10 just over a year after having a tumour removed from his liver in March 2011, is reportedly aiming to rejoin the team in December.
"I have been thinking about kicking the ball again for a long time. Today is the first day. I am tired but happy," the 33-year-old French international told Barca TV.
Abidal is in training this week at Val d'Aran in the Catalan Pyrenees where Barcelona has planned a week of training for him, the club said in a statement posted online late Tuesday.
"During the week Abidal is doing the player is expected to combine aerobics, some mountain treks and some work on the pitch where he will restart some football training," the club said.
"I am going little by little, adjusting my technique a bit, even if I did not have much before," Abidal joked.
Barcelona-based daily Sport said the French left-back planned to rejoin the rest of the team in training in November and hoped to return to competition in December.
"I want to rejoin the group soon but without rushing things," he was quoted as saying in Wednesday's edition of Sport.
Abidal last played in France's 2-1 victory over Germany on February 29 this year.