Vilanova returns as Barca get back to work

    Former assistant coach Tito Vilanova led Barca to 16 wins in 17 league matches prior to his surgery.

    Story highlights

    • Tito Vilanova returns to Barcelona training ground after operation to remove a tumor
    • The Barca coach had a tumor removed from his parotid gland on December 20
    • Vilanova visited players ahead of the match between Catalan national team and Nigeria
    • Barca continuing their charge towards the Spanish title against Espanyol on Sunday
    Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova has returned to the Catalan club's training ground just two weeks after undergoing surgery to remove a tumor from his throat.
    Vilanova suffered a recurrence of a tumor on his parotid gland -- located at the back of the mouth -- and was released from hospital on December 22.
    The former assistant coach, who replaced Josep Guardiola in June, returned to training on Wednesday ahead of the Spanish league leaders' derby match with Espanyol on Sunday.
    Vilanova also dropped in on the Catalan national team -- featuring nine Barca players -- as it prepared for a friendly match with Nigeria.