Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.


Tito Vilanova plans to 'gradually' return to first team duties with Barcelona

Coach has been in New York receiving treatment for throat cancer

Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova will gradually ease himself back into his job after arriving back in Spain today following two months of cancer treatment in New York, the La Liga club said.

The 44-year-old needed a second round of surgery in December following an initial operation to remove a tumour from his saliva glands in November 2011 and his assistant Jordi Roura took charge while he relocated to the United States for a course of chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

Vilanova arrived in Barcelona early today and returned home to rest, Barca said in a statement on their website).

Roura would take charge of this evening's training session, when most of the squad will be absent due to the international break, and Vilanova would "gradually" rejoin the first team, they added.

Barca's next match is at Celta Vigo on Saturday and they play at Paris St Germain in their Champions League last eight, first leg on April 2.