Barca boss Vilanova to have surgery and chemo

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Vilanova had a tumour removed from his throat just over a year ago

Barcelona have pledged to stand by coach Tito Vilanova after confirming he faces a second battle against cancer.

The Primera Division club's medical department revealed in a statement this evening that the 44-year-old would have surgery on his parotid gland tomorrow, before undergoing approximately six weeks of chemotherapy.

The news comes just over a year after Vilanova first had a tumour removed from his throat.

Club president Sandro Rosell expressed his "unconditional support" for Vilanova at a specifically-convened press conference this evening, in which he was flanked by on-field leaders Carles Puyol, Xavi, Andres Iniesta and Victor Valdes.

Rosell revealed assistant coach Jordi Roura would take charge of the first team while Vilanova, who took over from Pep Guardiola at the Nou Camp this summer, underwent his treatment.

The club has, however, left the door open for Vilanova to return to the touchline during his recovery, saying in tonight's statement that his "treatment may be compatible with his work life".

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