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The Toe Poke
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Barca: Vilanova will return in 15-20 days

Barcelona president Sandro Rosell said the team's coach, Tito Vilanova, will be back at work by mid-January following throat surgery to treat a cancerous tumor.

"He'll be back within 15 or 20 days, but he must spend a few days at the hospital and rest," Rosell said at the Globe Soccer conference in Dubai on Friday, as quoted by Marca.

"He will combine work with his cancer treatment," he said. "The most important thing is his health. Right now football is secondary."

Vilanova was released from the hospital on Dec. 22, two days after undergoing throat surgery to remove a second tumor in two years.

He had surgery to remove a tumor from a saliva gland in 2011 while he was Pep Guardiola's assistant. He was back with the team in 15 days.

Assistant coach Jordi Roura has taken over the team while Vilanova recovers.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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