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Hunger is back at Barca

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McAllister: Houllier will avoid surgery

Aston Villa assistant manager Gary McAllister says that Gerard Houllier will not require surgery after going to hospital with chest pains.

• Houllier taken to hospital
• Thompson: Signs are 'positive'

Houllier was admitted to hospital on Wednesday evening and it is reported he is unlikely to return to the Villa bench this season as he recuperates.

However Houllier, who underwent a major heart operation when manager of Liverpool in 2001, will not require surgery.

McAllister, who played under Houllier at Anfield, said: "I visited Gerard yesterday in hospital after training and was surprised how well he looked. It was really surprising. If you took away all the stuff attached to his arms, he didn't look ill.

"He is on the coronary ward. He was great and bubbly. He had a tough night but he was looking surprisingly well and in fine fettle."

When asked if Houllier would need surgery, McAllister said: "They (the specialists) are definitely saying there is no surgery needed, which is a massive plus. The last time there was major surgery. This time there will be no surgery needed, purely medicine and rest."

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