Tag Archives: surgery

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Anthony Ogogo won his first professional fight

Olympic star Ogogo throws knockout blow in second round of professional debut

By
Martin Domin

PUBLISHED:

20:56 GMT, 27 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

00:42 GMT, 28 April 2013

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Anthony Ogogo entered the ring to the wise words of Winston Churchill but was never forced to revert to the trenches as he started his professional career in blistering style.

The 24-year-old was the second member of Team GB to make his debut in the paid ranks having signed with American promoters Golden Boy last year.

And the middleweight made short work of his opponent Kieron Gray, stopping him in the second round after a straight right landed flush on the chin.

Jumping for joy: Anthony Ogogo celebrates knocking out Kieron Gray inside two rounds

Jumping for joy: Anthony Ogogo celebrates knocking out Kieron Gray inside two rounds

Ogogo won a bronze medal last summer
having given serious consideration to pulling out following shoulder
surgery and his mother's life-threatening illness.

Gray, 35, won his first five contests
as a professional but had lost his previous 14 as he settled into a
career as a journeyman.

Ogogo on the other hand can expect to
grace more iconic venues than Sheffield's Motorpoint Arena and will make
a quick turnaround on the undercard of Lee Purdy's challenge for Devon
Alexander's world welterweight title in Atlantic City on May 18.

Competent start: Ogogo uses his jab to good effect in the opening round against Gray

Competent start: Ogogo uses his jab to good effect in the opening round against Gray

Cameos in Las Vegas also await but the Lowestoft man had to first take care of the durable Gray.

Making his way from his dressing room
to the sound of Churchill's 'We shall fight on the beaches' speech from
1940, Ogogo's white shorts were trimmed with bronze in a nod to his
achievements in London.

Having already been hailed as a
potential cross-over star after a brief appearance on celebrity show
Splash and a regular slot as the face of Subway sandwiches, Ogogo was
given a rapturous reception by the Sheffield crowd.

And he was switched on from the first bell as he made a fast start, landing with a jab and right hook in the opening seconds.

Ended: Ogogo turns away after throwing the punch that sealed his debut victory

Ended: Ogogo turns away after throwing the punch that sealed his debut victory

Gray was content to box on the back foot in the face of fast hands from his younger opponent.

Despite his dominance, even Ogogo will have been surprised to have put Gray to the sword as comprehensively as he did.

The Shropshire man had only been
stopped twice previously but was sent crashing to the canvas after two
minutes of the second session before the contest was waved off by the
referee.

'That was great fun,' Ogogo said. 'The atmosphere was brilliant and I can't wait to get back out there. I love boxing!

'I'm not going to get carried away as I'm a million miles away from the top, but that was a statement of intent.'

Barcelona: Cesc Fabregas hat-trick Eric Abidal returns after transplant

Fabregas scores hat-trick but Abidal gets Nou Camp ovation on emotional return

By
Lee Bryan

PUBLISHED:

21:59 GMT, 6 April 2013

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UPDATED:

08:45 GMT, 7 April 2013

Cesc Fabregas scored the first hat-trick of his career as Barcelona moved closer to the Primera Division title with a 5-0 victory over Real Mallorca, but the main story was the return to action of Eric Abidal after a year out following liver surgery.

The home side were also inspired by
head coach Tito Vilanova, who was on the Nou Camp touchline for the
first time since January after undergoing treatment for cancer.

Abidal's appearance brought the crowd
to their feet, with the Frenchman given a standing ovation when he
replaced Gerard Pique in the 70th minute.

Happy return: Barcelona's Eric Abidal received a rousing reception

Happy return: Barcelona's Eric Abidal received a rousing reception

Happy return: Eric Abidal

The 33-year-old former France
defender, who was passed fit to return to training with his team mates
last month, is a huge favourite with the Barca fans.

In a pitch-side television interview with Spanish broadcaster Canal Plus, Abidal thanked the cousin who provided part of his liver for the procedure.

'It was a very special moment for me after a year out,' said Abidal, wearing a shirt with 'Merci mon cousin' on the front.

Tribute: Abidal shows a shirt to thank his cousin who donated his liver

Tribute: Abidal shows a shirt to thank his cousin who donated his liver

'I want to thank my cousin as without him I would not be here today. It is a unique moment,' he added.

Abidal's return is well timed as Barca centre backs Carles Puyol and Javier Mascherano and full back Adriano are all out injured at a critical stage of the season.

In the game itself, it was Fabregas who commanded the spotlight. In the injury-enforced absence of Lionel Messi, he scored three and
set up two for Alexis Sanchez as Barcelona romped home.

Main man: Cesc Fabregas scored his first competitive hat-trick as the league leaders romped to victory

Main man: Cesc Fabregas scored his first competitive hat-trick as the league leaders romped to victory

Main man: Cesc Fabregas scored his first competitive hat-trick as the league leaders romped to victory

Mallorca held their own but it was no surprise when Barcelona made the breakthrough with two goals in two minutes.

Fabregas carried the ball from midfield and played a one-two with Alexis before steadying himself and coolly slotting the ball home across goalkeeper Dudu Aouate.

Mallorca's heads went down and in the 22nd minute they found themselves 2-0 adrift. This time Fabregas cut inside on the left of the area before unleashing a shot which Aouate pushed away from goal only for Alexis to follow up and fire home.

On the scoresheet: Alexis Sanchez was also on target in Barcelona's facile victory

On the scoresheet: Alexis Sanchez was also on target in Barcelona's facile victory

In the 37th minute an intricate passing move ended with Fabregas laying a first-time ball off to Alexis on the right of the area which he reciprocated for Fabregas to drill home.

The former Arsenal captain was involved everywhere and a minute later he provided a superb pass over the top for Alexis, who had got between two defenders, controlling the ball with his right before slotting home with his left.

Fabregas wrapped up his hat-trick seconds after the restart when he collected Iniesta's threaded ball and checked inside the defender before slotting home from close range.

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Zak Hardaker out of World Club Challenge with injury

Leeds face challenge after injury rules full back Hardaker out of Melbourne clash

By
Ian Laybourn, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

21:08 GMT, 18 February 2013

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UPDATED:

21:08 GMT, 18 February 2013

Leeds will have to find a new full-back for Friday's World Club Challenge against Melbourne Storm after ruling out England international Zak Hardaker with a broken thumb.

The 21-year-old is expected to be sidelined for a month with the injury he sustained in last Friday's 42-14 Super League win over Salford.

Rhinos coach Brian McDermott also confirmed at a press conference at Headingley that prop Ryan Bailey will be out after undergoing minor knee surgery, but that second rower Brett Delaney and prop Jamie Peacock will return after missing the Salford game through injury.

Crocked: Hardaker (centre) has a broken thumb

Crocked: Hardaker (centre) has a broken thumb

Centre Kallum Watkins, who switched to full-back against the City Reds, and Australian recruit Joe Vickery are among the list of possible alternatives for the full-back role.

Vickery, 23, who was born in Exeter but raised in Australia, earned a 12-month contract with the champions after impressing in pre-season trials but damaged ankle ligaments on his debut in the opening game.

'We've a few options,' McDermott said. 'Kallum Watkins is one of them and Joe Vickery is in the mix after making a remarkable recovery.'

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Sandro injury news: Tottenham fear midfielder out for season

Spurs fear Sandro is out for the season after knee surgery

By
Thom Drake

PUBLISHED:

17:06 GMT, 16 January 2013

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UPDATED:

17:43 GMT, 16 January 2013

Tottenham have confirmed that Sandro has had knee surgery and are worried the midfielder could be out for the season.

The 23-year-old Brazilian only lasted 25 minutes in the 0-0 draw at QPR on Saturday, before landing awkwardly and having to be taken off.

A club statement said: 'Sandro has undergone knee surgery following the injury that forced his substitution against QPR at the weekend.

Sandro reacts badly to the fall which has left him as a doubt for the remainder of the season

In serious pain: Sandro reacts badly to the fall which has left him as a doubt for the remainder of the season

'The midfielder's recovery schedule will be assessed over the next few days.'

Sandro had featured in all 22 of Tottenham's league games so far this season and has been instrumental in them staying in the Champions League positions.

Spurs fans will only be comforted by the fact that Scott Parker appears to be injury free and fit to take his place.

It was thought that Jake Livermore and Tom Huddlestone may be let out on loan, possibly to join up with former manager Harry Redknapp, but this is now unlikely to happen.

Tottenham have plenty of players to take over from Sandro in his position

Ouch! Tottenham have plenty of players to take over from Sandro in his position

Sandro took to twitter after the incident to tell his followers: 'Hi guys, I'm in some pain at the moment! On my way to the hospital for a scan now so fingers crossed it's good news…thanks for all support.'

He tweeted again today to say: 'Sorry guys, but this one really got me, the beast is hurt.

'My surgery Went well, now its moving forwards with treatment And rest!'

Teammate Gareth Bale also mentioned the midfielder, saying: 'Get well soon @sandroraniere… the beast will be back! '

Emmanuel Adebayor gives Sandro a hand leaving the pitch

Helped off: Emmanuel Adebayor gives Sandro a hand leaving the pitch

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Tony Pulis makes Marouane Fellaini complaint

Pulis makes Fellaini complaint as Everton midfielder is only given three-match ban for headbutt

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UPDATED:

22:36 GMT, 21 December 2012

Tony Pulis has made a complaint to referees’ chief Mike Riley over the leniency of the punishment handed out to Everton’s Marouane Fellaini.

Stoke City’s boss was upset that the Belgium midfielder was given a three-match ban following a series of incidents involving Ryan Shawcross.

Fellaini was caught on camera headbutting the England centre back as the pair jostled prior to a corner.

Headbutt: Fellaini was given a three-game ban for this challenge

Headbutt: Fellaini was given a three-game ban for this challenge

The Everton man was retrospectively handed a three-match ban for violent conduct. But two other clashes between the pair were highlighted after the final whistle.

Pulis was upset at referee Mark Halsey’s report and wrote to Riley arguing that one of his players would have been given a lengthier ban had they acted in the same manner.

Fellaini, who has been fined 150,000 by Everton, will be forced to train as normal by manager David Moyes during his ban, including on Christmas Day.

Stoke midfielder Charlie Adam has pulled out of Saturday’s match at Tottenham following the death of his father.

Complaint: Pulis is not happy with the FA's decision

Complaint: Pulis is not happy with the FA's decision

Meanwhile, Everton striker Kevin Mirallas will miss the festive fixtures with a hamstring problem that has led to him being sent to see the renowned Dr Hans Muller-Wolfhart in Munich.

Mirallas has only played for 45 minutes since he pulled up lame against Sunderland on November 10.

‘I am worried, yes, especially as he is a quick, fleet-footed player,’ said Moyes, who will recall Phil Neville following knee surgery.

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John Terry could miss Chelsea"s Christmas games

Terry set to miss Chelsea's crucial festive fixtures after breaking down in training

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UPDATED:

15:55 GMT, 21 December 2012

Chelsea captain John Terry is in danger of missing Chelsea’s packed Christmas schedule after he broke down in training this morning.

Terry’s recovery from serious knee surgery is proving to be more complicated than expected.

He came through a warm-up unscathed at the Cobham training ground but then felt pain in his knee.

Blow: John Terry is struggling to recover from a serious knee injury and will likely miss the Christmas schedule

Blow: John Terry is struggling to recover from a serious knee injury and will likely miss the Christmas schedule

He will definitely miss Sunday’s
Barclays Premier League game against Aston Villa and is a major doubt
for the fixtures against Norwich, Everton and QPR as well.

Chelsea manager Rafa Benitez said: ‘He was training today and running on the pitch but he is not available yet. He was not training with the ball, just warming up.

‘Today was fine in the warm-up but then he gets a problem, it is one step forward, one step back.

'Hopefully it will be easier in the next few weeks. The problem is the inflammation and the knee is so complicated.

‘I hope he will be available at Christmas but I can’t guarantee anything. You can’t predict when he will be available.’

Benitez was confident Terry would not
require further surgery and would not be drawn on reports the
32-year-old was close to opening talks on a new contract to replace the
one that expires in 18 months.

Pressed on Terry's importance to
Chelsea – there is a huge difference in their win-loss record with and
without their skipper – Benitez said: 'If he's the captain, it's because
he's a player that can be a leader.

'I have seen he has a great character.'

Up and running: Fernando Torres (right) in training ahead of Sunday's clash with Aston Villa

Up and running: Fernando Torres (right) in training ahead of Sunday's clash with Aston Villa

At least Chelsea have cover for Terry in defence.

The same cannot be said for their attack if they choose to sell Daniel Sturridge to Liverpool when the transfer window reopens.

A fee has reportedly been agreed for the England striker, with talks said to have reached an impasse over agents' fees.

Benitez would only discuss
Sturridge's fitness today, confirming the 23-year-old was ready to
return from the hamstring problem that has kept him out for more than a
month.

'The situation with Sturridge is the same,' Benitez said.

'Now he's training, he's had another training session.

'He's a player that is available.

'I have to decide if he will be in the squad or in the team.'

Benitez was similarly coy about
Chelsea's own January transfer targets, although he admitted he had held
talks with the club's board over new players.

Don't worry, David: Chelsea boss Rafa Benitez tells Luiz he still needs him after his poor showing against Leeds

Don't worry, David: Chelsea boss Rafa Benitez tells Luiz he still needs him after his poor showing against Leeds

'Everybody knows more or less what we are looking for or what we'll try to find,' said Benitez, who will try to sign at least a striker and possibly a midfielder next month.

The Spaniard must also decide whether to recall any of Chelsea's on-loan players, principally Romelu Lukaku from West Brom.

Asked if that was an option, he said: 'I cannot say no but I cannot say yes.

'It's something that we have to analyse in January.'

He added: 'I am talking with the people in the club about how they were doing and we have some information, but no more.'

With Victor Moses and John Obi Mikel expected to depart for African Nations Cup duty early next month, Benitez admitted it was important Chelsea got their transfer business done sooner rather than later.

Tight lipped: Benitez would not be drawn on whether Chelsea will be active during the transfer window

Tight lipped: Benitez would not be drawn on whether Chelsea will be active during the transfer window

He also conceded it was vital they produced a successful festive programme as they eye the daunting task of eating into the 13-point gap to Premier League leaders Manchester United.

'Always, it's time where you will see where you are,' Benitez said. 'Because you play so many games, it's a crucial time.'

It could also prove important in Benitez's attempts to further quell the fan revolt against his appointment.

Four wins from five games have certainly not done him any harm and he said: 'At the end of the day, you have to judge the manager for the things that you can see on the pitch.

'The last games, we were doing well. Hopefully, we can be consistent and – always I say the same – it will easier.

'I will be working hard as always and I will continue working as hard as I can.'

Barcelona boss Tito Vilanova suffers tumour relapse

Barcelona boss Vilanova suffers tumour relapse… assistant team coach Roura steps in

|

UPDATED:

20:07 GMT, 19 December 2012

Barcelona manager Tito Vilanova is to undergo surgery and a course of chemotherapy after suffering a relapse of a cancerous tumour he had removed last year.

The 44-year-old had a tumour on his parotid gland (the largest of the human salivary glands) removed in emergency surgery last November when he was the club's assistant manager.

During a recent medical check-up, it was found that the tumour had returned and Vilanova will have more surgery on Thursday before six weeks of chemotherapy.

Assistant coach Jordi Roura has been named interim boss during Vilanova's absence.

It was announced in April that Vilanova would take over as Barca coach following Pep Guardiola's decision to step down at the end of the season and take a year-long sabbatical from the game.

Stepping down: Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova has suffered a relapse of a tumour he had removed last November

Stepping down: Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova has suffered a relapse of a tumour he had removed last November

Vilanova was Guardiola's assistant
during four hugely successful years at the Nou Camp which saw Barca win
13 trophies, including two Champions League crowns and three Primera
Division titles.

Vilanova has enjoyed a superb start to his tenure in the hotseat,
helping Barca establish a nine-point lead at the top of the league
standings after winning 15 of their opening 16 games while drawing the
other.

Barca are also through to the knockout stages of the Champions League
and hold a 2-0 first-leg lead over Cordoba in their Copa del Rey last-16
tie.

The club cancelled a scheduled press conference involving Club President Sandro Rosell on Wednesday as the news broke, as well as the staff Christmas party.

A training session scheduled for 6pm UK time this evening, and which was open to the public for the first 15 minutes, has been closed off.

Barcelona
have announced that no decision will be made on a potential replacement
until Vilanova has spoken to the players.

The news broke on the same day defender Eric Abidal was given the all-clear to resume his playing career following a liver transplant.

VILANOVA'S RECORD AT BARCELONA SO FAR

Pld 27 W 23 D 2 L 2 (85.18% win ratio)

Successor: Vilanova replaced Pep Guardiola (right) as Barcelona manager in the summer

Successor: Vilanova replaced Pep Guardiola (right) as Barcelona manager in the summer

Messages of support flooded in for Vilanova from throughout the sporting world.

'Very sorry to hear the news,' Barca midfielder Xavi said on his official Twitter account.

Former tennis world number one Rafa
Nadal said: 'All my strength and support for Tito Vilanova! We are all
with you to overcome this next hurdle.'

Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero ‏tweeted: 'We support you, #AnimoTito! We wish you the strength to overcome this moment.'

His Spanish teammate David Silva added: 'All my support and best wishes to Tito and all of the people in the world fighting every day against cancer. Be strong #AnimoTito'

Former Barcelona striker Gary Lineker tweeted: 'Very sorry to hear Tito Vilanova, the Barca coach, is undergoing surgery after a cancer relapse. Thoughts are with him.'

A statement on the Madrid website read: 'Real Madrid want to express their support and best wishes for the coach of FC Barcelona, Tito Vilanova, and wish him a very rapid recovery. Real Madrid offer their support to his club and to all his family.'

Good job: Barcelona are nine points clear at the summit of La Liga

Good job: Barcelona are nine points clear at the summit of La Liga

Vilanova was out of action for around
three weeks after surgery last year, but returned to the dugout to help
Guardiola for the last six months of the 2011-12 campaign.

The quietly-spoken Catalan said the experience had left him with a different perspective on life, at his presentation in June.

'I had an important operation a few
months ago,' he said. 'I spoke with the medics and my family about the
job, but they all said I was perfectly okay and there was no problem.

'Having overcome this operation it
gives me a different view on life. Perhaps, after what has happened,
training Barca will be like kids play.'

Barca released a press statement this morning announcing they had suspended all activities for today but did not go into details and did not mention Vilanova.

The club confirmed a further announcement would be made later today.

The statement read: 'Barcelona announce that it is has suspended the press conference from president Sandro Rosell planned for midday. As well as that, the media Christmas lunch has been cancelled.

'Later today the club will issue a further release. Until that time we will not make any announcement about this matter.

'We regret any inconvenience this decision may cause.'

Vilanova factfile

1969: Born September 17 in Bellcaire d'Emporda Girona.

1988: Comes through the Barcelona youth set-up along with fellow midfielder Pep Guardiola, but cannot break into the first team, playing for two years at Barcelona B.

1990: Joins lower-league Figueres.

1992: Moves to Primera Division Celta Vigo, but fails to hold down a first-team place.

1995: Leaves Celta.

2002: Retires from playing after short spells in the lower leagues with Badajoz, Real Mallorca, Lleida, Elche and finally Gramenet.

Tito Vilanova

2007: After working as technical director at Tarrassa, becomes Guardiola's assistant at Barcelona B. The pair help the team to promotion to Segunda Division B.

2008: June – Guardiola takes over coach of Barcelona and Vilanova comes with him as his assistant. The pair win the league, cup and Champions League in the first season in charge. Two more league titles, another Champions League crown and two Club World Cups follow.

2011: November 22 – Undergoes surgery on his parotid gland in Barcelona and spends three weeks recovering after being discharged.

2012: April 27 – Appointed as Guardiola's successor as Barcelona coach for next season after Guardiola announces he will not renew his contract.

June 15 – Signs a two-year contract to remain as Barcelona coach.

December 19 – Barcelona announce he would have surgery on the parotid gland for a second time on December 20 and faced approximately six weeks of chemotherapy. A club statement also said he could remain as coach dependent on his recovery during the treatment.

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Tito Vilanova set to step down as Barcelona coach after tumour relapse

Vilanova set to step down as Barcelona coach after tumour relapse

|

UPDATED:

15:47 GMT, 19 December 2012

Barcelona manager Tito Vilanova is set to step down from his post after suffering a relapse of a tumour he had removed last year.

The 44-year-old had a tumour on his parotid gland removed in emergency surgery last November when he was the club's assistant manager.

The parotid gland is the largest of the human salivary glands.

But during a recent medical check-up, it was found that the tumour had returned. He is reportedly undergoing emergency surgery in a Barcelona hospital at the moment.

It was announced in April that Vilanova would take over as Barca coach following Pep Guardiola's decision to step down at the end of the season and take a year-long sabbatical from the game.

Stepping down: Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova has suffered a relapse of a tumour he had removed last November

Stepping down: Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova has suffered a relapse of a tumour he had removed last November

Vilanova was Guardiola's assistant
during four hugely successful years at the Nou Camp which saw Barca win
13 trophies, including two Champions League crowns and three Primera
Division titles.

Vilanova has enjoyed a superb start to his tenure in the hotseat,
helping Barca establish a nine-point lead at the top of the league
standings after winning 15 of their opening 16 games while drawing the
other.

Barca are also through to the knockout stages of the Champions League
and hold a 2-0 first-leg lead over Cordoba in their Copa del Rey last-16
tie.

The club cancelled a scheduled press conference involving Club President Sandro Rosell on Wednesday as the news broke, as well as the staff Christmas party.

A training session scheduled for 6pm UK time this evening, and which was open to the public for the first 15 minutes, has been closed off.

Barcelona
have announced that no decision will be made on a potential replacement
until Vilanova has spoken to the players.

The news broke on the same day defender Eric Abidal was given the all-clear to resume his playing career following a liver transplant.

VILANOVA'S RECORD AT BARCELONA SO FAR

Pld 27 W 23 D 2 L 2 (85.18% win ratio)

Successor: Vilanova replaced Pep Guardiola (right) as Barcelona manager in the summer

Successor: Vilanova replaced Pep Guardiola (right) as Barcelona manager in the summer

Messages of support flooded in for Vilanova from throughout the sporting world.

'Very sorry to hear the news,' Barca midfielder Xavi said on his official Twitter account.

Former tennis world number one Rafa
Nadal said: 'All my strength and support for Tito Vilanova! We are all
with you to overcome this next hurdle.'

Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero ‏tweeted: 'We support you, #AnimoTito! We wish you the strength to overcome this moment.'

His Spanish teammate David Silva added: 'All my support and best wishes to Tito and all of the people in the world fighting every day against cancer. Be strong #AnimoTito'

Former Barcelona striker Gary Lineker tweeted: 'Very sorry to hear Tito Vilanova, the Barca coach, is undergoing surgery after a cancer relapse. Thoughts are with him.'

A statement on the Madrid website read: 'Real Madrid want to express their support and best wishes for the coach of FC Barcelona, Tito Vilanova, and wish him a very rapid recovery. Real Madrid offer their support to his club and to all his family.'

Good job: Barcelona are nine points clear at the summit of La Liga

Good job: Barcelona are nine points clear at the summit of La Liga

Vilanova was out of action for around
three weeks after surgery last year, but returned to the dugout to help
Guardiola for the last six months of the 2011-12 campaign.

The quietly-spoken Catalan said the experience had left him with a different perspective on life, at his presentation in June.

'I had an important operation a few
months ago,' he said. 'I spoke with the medics and my family about the
job, but they all said I was perfectly okay and there was no problem.

'Having overcome this operation it
gives me a different view on life. Perhaps, after what has happened,
training Barca will be like kids play.'

Barca released a press statement this morning announcing they had suspended all activities for today but did not go into details and did not mention Vilanova.

The club confirmed a further announcement would be made later today.

The statement read: 'Barcelona announce that it is has suspended the press conference from president Sandro Rosell planned for midday. As well as that, the media Christmas lunch has been cancelled.

'Later today the club will issue a further release. Until that time we will not make any announcement about this matter.

'We regret any inconvenience this decision may cause.'

Image article-2248096-1683A0E4000005DC-594_634x543.jpg

Nemanja Vidic back for Manchester United against Sunderland

Vidic boost for Fergie as Man United captain returns after three months on sidelines

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UPDATED:

15:49 GMT, 14 December 2012

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson admits question marks will remain over Nemanja Vidic's fitness until the Serbian proves he has fully recovered from two lots of knee surgery.

Vidic has played just 13 times since injuring his calf in the opening Barclays Premier League game of last season at West Brom.

After spending two months on the sidelines, Vidic was only eight games into his comeback when he ruptured his cruciate ligaments during a Champions League game in Basle that ended his entire campaign.

Boost: Nemanja Vidic is back in the Manchester United squad to face Sunderland

Boost: Nemanja Vidic is back in the Manchester United squad to face Sunderland

The 31-year-old resisted the
temptation to rush back earlier than expected so he would be fully
recovered in time for pre-season.

However, just five games in, he reported discomfort in his knee which condemned Vidic to undergo more surgery.

Now the Serbian is back for Saturday's Premier League encounter with Sunderland.

But, recalling the nightmare Gary
Neville had after having his ankle broken against Bolton in 2007,
Ferguson accepts Vidic's fitness cannot be taken for granted just yet.

'Getting an injury is an issue for
players going into their late 20s and early 30s because they start to
wonder how many years they've got left,' said Ferguson.

'For instance, Gary Neville was 32 when he got his injury and he never really recovered from it.

'He had recurring injuries – it was
his calf, then it was his groin, then it was his hamstring, his ankle,
it was just a catalogue of injury after injury simply because at that
age recovery is a bit more difficult.'

Ferguson has yet to decide whether Vidic will start against Sunderland.

However, with the Christmas campaign looming, there are lots of matches for the defender to get involved in.

And Ferguson has no doubt the former Red Star Belgrade man can make a positive contribution.

'We hope we've given him the proper
rehabilitation,' said Ferguson. 'He's not had a lot of football so it is
an issue, but we're hoping he sails through.

Eyes on the prize: Wayne Rooney (centre) looks focused as the United players train at Carrington

Eyes on the prize: Wayne Rooney (centre) looks focused as the United players train at Carrington

'There will be opportunities for him because he brings that great experience, that warrior type of defending he's for.

'I don't know whether I will start
him tomorrow but at least we have him back and given the number of
injuries we've had to defenders over the last two or three years, it's a
bonus for us.'

Meanwhile, Ferguson also confirmed Shinji Kagawa would begin training with the first-team again after a two-month absence.

However, Jonny Evans has been ruled out of the Sunderland match with a hamstring injury.

'I felt it would be a problem for Jonny at the start of the second half last week,' said Ferguson.

Ferguson also confirmed Shinji Kagawa would begin training with the first-team again after a two-month absence.

However, Jonny Evans has been ruled out with a hamstring injury.

'I felt it would be a problem for Jonny at the start of the second half last week,' said Ferguson.

Ferguson insists revenge will not be a factor for his side this weekend.

The United camp were irritated at the way Sunderland fans reacted so gleefully when Sergio Aguero scored his injury-time winner at the Etihad Stadium to earn Manchester City the title last term.

After beating Sunderland at the Stadium of Light, the Red Devils players were still on the pitch when Aguero's strike went in.

Fun and games: Forwards Javier Hernandez (left) and Danny Welbeck have a laugh during training on Friday

Fun and games: Forwards Javier Hernandez (left) and Danny Welbeck have a laugh during training on Friday

At the time, Ferguson was unhappy, whilst Wayne Rooney said in his autobiography that Sunderland was a fixture he would be looking out for more keenly than usual this term.

However, it seems that will not be part of the Scot's team talk.

'It was disappointing given the number of players we have given them down the years, but there was no malice in it and there is no element of revenge,' said Ferguson.

'Winning the game is more important for us given what we achieved last week.

'Now we really need to kick on and make sure we retain our lead at the top of the league.'

The hosts will be strongly fancied to beat a Black Cats outfit who have struggled so badly this term.

Quick feet: Ashley Young follows Rooney's lead as the United players prepare for the visit of Sunderland

Quick feet: Ashley Young follows Rooney's lead as the United players prepare for the visit of Sunderland

Only a home win over Reading on Tuesday allowed Sunderland to scramble out of the bottom three.

However, Ferguson does not believe manager Martin O'Neill deserves the stick he has been getting.

'There was a question asked of Martin last week about whether he still had self-belief that was absolutely ridiculous,' said Ferguson.

'This is a guy who won three times in Scotland, reached the UEFA Cup final and League Cup final with Leicester.

'It was an insult to ask him a question like that because he is an outstanding manager.'

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Vincent Kompany returns to Manchester City training

EXCLUSIVE: Kompany back in training as Manchester City captain targets Toon clash

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UPDATED:

12:39 GMT, 13 December 2012

Manchester City have been handed a huge boost with the return to training of Vincent Kompany.

The City captain limped off early with a hamstring problem in last weekend's derby defeat to Manchester United and was ruled out of Saturday's trip to Newcastle in the Barclays Premier League.

However, the Belgian is desperate to play and asked manager Roberto Mancini if he could to some training on Thursday.

Concern: Vincent Kompany limped out of the derby with a hamstring problem

Concern: Vincent Kompany limped out of the derby with a hamstring problem

Kompany trained on his own away from the main group of players and will see how his injury responds before making a decision on whether to train properly on Friday.

Mancini still rates Kompany as 'very doubtful' for Saturday's game at St James' Park but hopes his skipper will miss just one game at the most.

Meanwhile, City defender Micah Richards hopes to be back playing by early February after knee surgery in October.

The 24-year-old tore the meniscus in his right knee but is gradually making progress in his rehabilitation.

On the mend: Micah Richards (No 2) hopes to be playing again in February

On the mend: Micah Richards (No 2) hopes to be playing again in February

'I am not putting a date on when I will be back because these things are never exact but I am hoping it will be in early February,' he told City's website.

'There is still not too much I can do but I am now on one crutch instead of two so that is progress.

'Of course it is frustrating and there is nothing more I would like than to be out there playing but I am being well looked after, the injury is responding and the knee getting stronger every day.

'I am busy try to build the muscle up and I am doing some weights.'