BARCELONA: Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova has had a relapse just over a year after having surgery to remove a cancerous tumour from a salivary gland, Spanish sports media said.
"Relapse in Tito illness. Barca coach hit with return of the cancer he had in 2011," said the Catalan daily Mundo Deportivo, with the same claim carried on the Internet site of the Sport publication.
The Liga leaders said only in a statement that a scheduled news conference lunchtime with Barca president Sandro Rossell had been cancelled, as had a planned Christmas meal with the media.
Barcelona said they would make a further announcement later in the day.
Vilanova, 44, has been Barca manager since the departure of Pep Guardiola in April this year. He underwent an operation to remove a tumour on his parotid gland—the largest of the salivary glands—on November 22, 2011 and was back at work as Guardiola's deputy just 15 days later.
Reports of Vilanova's relapse emerged on the same day that a Catalan radio station and Mundo Deportivo said doctors had given the all-clear for Barcelona defender Eric Abidal to play again after undergoing a liver transplant on April 10.
The operation was conducted more than a year after a tumour was removed from his liver.