Eric Abidal returned to first team action after his second lengthy layoff due to liver problems.
Eric Abidal returned to first team action after his second lengthy layoff due to liver problems.
David Ramos/Getty Images

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) -Eric Abidal has played his first match for Barcelona since receiving a liver transplant.

Abidal went on in the 70th minute of Saturday's Spanish league game against Mallorca to a standing ovation from the Camp Nou crowd.

The 33-year-old France defender was cleared to play in February and played a game with Barcelona's reserve team last month.

His last appearance for Barcelona was on Feb. 26, 2012.

Abidal underwent surgery to remove a liver tumor in March 2011 and returned to the team at full strength before the end of that season. He then had to stop playing a second time last spring when doctors determined he needed a liver transplant.

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