21 Dec 2012

Barcelona coach recovering from surgery

11:50 am on 21 December 2012

Cancer surgery on Barcelona's football coach Tito Vilanova went "very well" according to the team's captain Carles Puyol, after an unexpected relapse shocked the Spanish league leaders.

The 44-year-old has led Barcelona to their best league start ever, but the club says Vilanova will be in hospital for four days and then need up to six weeks of chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

The Spanish media quoted Vilanova's assurance to his players that he'll "be back soon".

The operation comes a year after Vilanova underwent similar surgery on his salivary gland.