Barcelona defender Eric Abidal this evening successfully underwent surgery to remove his liver tumour, the Primera Division club have announced.
The 31-year-old was operated on by Dr Josep Fuster Obregon at the BarnaClinic Grup Hospital Clinic in the city and, if all goes well in his recovery, the France international could be given the green light to leave hospital sometime next week.
A statement on the Barcelona website said: "During the operation, which lasted for approximately three hours, the medical team removed the tumour through laparoscopic surgery without any complications.
"Depending on his progress, the player could be allowed to leave hospital within a week," the statement went on. "By the express desire of the player, the club ask for the maximum respect for his right to privacy and confidentiality."
Abidal joined Barcelona from Lyon in 2007 and has been a regular this season in the team which leads the Primera Division and has reached the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals.
Abidal has been capped 52 times for France, having made his debut for his country in 2004. He has played in two FIFA World Cups™, helping France reach the final in 2006, as well as UEFA EURO 2008.