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Barca battle on without Vilanova for time being

Published on Dec 21, 2012 5:48 AM
This file picture dated Dec 4, 2012, shows Barcelona's coach Tito Vilanova giving a press conference after a training session at the Sports Center FC Bacelona Joan Gamper in St Joan Despi, near Barcelona on the eve of a Champions League football match against Benfica. Barcelona's coach Tito Vilanova, who had surgery on salivary gland on Nov 22, 2011, would have "a relapse of his cancer" several Spanish sports media reported on Dec 19, 2012. -- PHOTO : AFP 

MADRID (AFP) - Barcelona will have to continue their march at the top of La Liga without Tito Vilanova after it was revealed the coach has suffered a relapse of a tumour on which he was operated just over a year ago.

The 44-year-old who took over from Pep Guardiola at the beginning of the season was thought to have fully recovered from surgery last November to remove the growth on his parotid gland, and he was back at work within 15 days.

However after an operation on Thursday it is thought he will have treatment for at least six weeks and he may or may not be available to return to work at some stage during that time.

Until then, Sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta confirmed on Thursday, the side will be led by Vilanova's assistant Jordi Roura.

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