Barca coach Vilanova to undergo surgery, chemotherapy after suffering cancer relapse

London, Dec. 20 (ANI): Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova will be undergoing surgery and chemotherapy after suffering a relapse of his cancer.

Vilanova, has suffered a relapse of the cancer in the parotid saliva gland that was first diagnosed in November 2011 when he was Pep Guardiola's assistant.

He will now undergo a surgery on Thursday and is expected to be off work for a few weeks but there are no plans for the 44-year-old to stand down, The Guardian reports.

According to the paper, although there was no formal prognosis as to how long it will be before Vilanova will be able to return to the job, Barcelona's president, Sandro Rosell, talked of the coach being absent for "a few weeks".

Rosell said: "Tito is very strong. He has shown that before and we hope that he will be back with us very soon."

Vilanova will be in hospital for three to four days after surgery and then undergo a six-week treatment of radiotherapy and chemotherapy but doctors say that he may be able to continue working during that time, the paper said.

In the meantime, the Barcelona first team will be coached by Vilanova's assistant Jordi Roura, starting at Valladolid on Saturday night. The club has also denied making any long-term decisions.

"We will wait for him," Rosell said of Vilanova.

"Tito is, Tito was, and Tito will continue to be our coach. Jordi will sit on the bench in Valladolid but Tito is our coach. We will continue as naturally as possible. Tito is not here, Jordi is. All of [Tito's] team is," added sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta. (ANI)

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