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Football | Spain

Vilanova to seek second opinion in NY



Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova is to seek a second medical opinion in New York just weeks after undergoing another operation on a tumour in his saliva gland, it was reported on Tuesday.

The 44-year-old only returned to the dugout last Sunday for Barcelona's 4-0 win over city rivals Espanyol and admitted then that he might have to step away again.

The Barcelona sports publication 'Sport' revealed on its website that according to their sources Vilanova would not be present for Thursday's Spanish Cup Last 16 clash with Cordoba because he will be in New York to see cancer specialist Timothy A Chan at the Sloan-Kettering Memorial hospital.

Barcelona would not officially confirm the claims.

Vilanova, who underwent the operation on December 20, had said following the win over Espanyol - Barca's 17th in their 18 league games this season - that his battle was not over.

"This is not over yet and there will be days that I can take training and others I can't but I want the media to realise that this illness is mine and it is private even if I am a public figure," said Vilanova, who replaced Pep Guardiola after he stepped down at the end of last season.

"I would like to thank everyone for their support. This club has had a lot of knocks in the last couple of years but I always want to take the positive approach. What has happened to me could have happened to anyone."

Vilanova has in any case to follow six weeks of chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment.

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