Barcelona have confirmed that head coach Tito Vilanova is set to undergo surgery on Thursday after the Portuguese tactician unfortunately suffered a recurrence of a cancerous tumor in a gland in his throat.
Vilanova had surgery on his throat in November and appeared to be in good health as he has managed to guide Barcelona to an exceptional start to the La Liga campaign, but has now suffered a setback in his recovery.
A statement has been released by the club about the latest news on Vilanova.
“While monitoring his parotid gland a change has been detected in his condition that requires surgery,” it read.
After the surgery is complete, Vilanova is expected stay in hospital for a few days before returning home and then beginning a new course of chemotherapy and radiotherapy for roughly six weeks.
It will be only then that the 44-year-old will be likely to be in a position to decide whether he can return to work at Barcelona, with the club yet to confirm who will act as caretaker manger in the meantime.
One positive to come from a very bad situation is that rivalries take a back seat in the face of adversity and football teams, players, managers and fans unite as one, with Barca’s biggest enemies Real Madrid offering their messages of support to Vilanova.
“Real Madrid wishes to express all its support, love and affection for Barcelona’s coach Tito Vilanova, to whom it wishes a quick recovery,” said the club in a statement.
“Real Madrid extends this support to his club and all his family.”