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Tito Vilanova has second throat operation

Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova underwent throat surgery on Thursday to treat the reappearance of a tumor on a saliva gland.

The Spanish club said his progress will mark his hospital stay, and his doctors were maintaining their plans of treating Vilanova with chemotherapy and radiotherapy for up to six weeks.

Barcelona captain Carles Puyol said ‘the operation went well.’ Barcelona made the announcement that Vilanova had fallen ill again on Wednesday.

The club said Vilanova might be able to return to the sidelines while continuing his treatment. It did not provide a timetable for his return.

In the meantime, Vilanova’s assistant coach, Jordi Roura, has taken over training and will coach the team for Saturday’s Spanish league game at Valladolid. Roura has been on Barcelona’s coaching staff since 2009.

‘Yesterday was a hard day, but (Vilanova) came to the dressing room and explained everything to us and boosted our spirits,’ Puyol said. ‘He hadn’t even left yet and he was saying he couldn’t wait to be back. Today we feel better because the news is good. ‘We have to keep playing the same way, train as hard as we can, (and) look forward to (Vilanova’s) return.’

Puyol said the club’s decision to let Roura take over for now was the correct one. ‘He has been working with us for years. He knows the team perfectly,’ Puyol said. ‘Our way of doing things won’t change.’
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