Vilanova will be back in 15 to 20 days, say Barcelona

Reuters, Saturday 29 Dec 2012

Barcelona's 44-year-old coach Tito Vilanova is recuperating following cancer relapse, says club president

Tito Vilanova
Tito Vilanova (Photo: Reuters)

Barcelona president Sandro Rosell says coach Tito Vilanova, who suffered a recurrence of cancer in his saliva glands earlier this month, will be back at work midway through January.

Vilanova underwent surgery 20 December, a day after the club announced that the 44-year-old's condition had relapsed. He first had treatment in 2011.

"He'll be back within 15 or 20 days, but he must spend some days at the hospital and rest," Rosell told reporters in Dubai on Friday.

"He will mix work with his treatment. The most important thing is his health. Right now football comes second," Rosell added.

Barcelona have made a record-breaking start to their first season under Vilanova, who replaced friend Pep Guardiola at the helm at the end of the last season, by dropping only two points in 17 matches to lead La Liga by nine points.

Assistant Jordi Roura is taking charge in his absence. Barca's next league match is at home to city rivals Espanyol on 6 January.

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