“The first message I have received is that the operation has gone very well,” Puyol told a news conference after surgeons operated on Vilanova yesterday, just over a year after he underwent a similar operation on his salivary gland.
“It is very tough news, a very hard blow,” Puyol said.
Barcelona said Vilanova will be in hospital for four days and then need up to six weeks of chemotherapy or radiotherapy. A six-week lay-off would mean Vilanova may return just in time for Barcelona’s last-16 tie in the Champions League, which will be against AC Milan in mid-February.
Meanwhile, newspaper Mundo Deportivo reported that Vilanova had vowed a swift return from surgery. “I will be away for a while but I will be back soon,” the paper quoted the 44-year-old as telling his players the night before he went in for surgery.
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