Tito Vilanova returns to Barcelona training

Recovering Vilanova back at training to help Barca prepare for fiery Espanyol derby

By
Martin Domin

PUBLISHED:

11:52 GMT, 2 January 2013

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UPDATED:

11:52 GMT, 2 January 2013

Barcelona have been handed a New Year boost as manager Tito Vilanova returned to training this morning just two weeks after undergoing surgery.

He suffered a recurrence of cancer in his saliva glands and temporarily stepped down from his post.

But Vilanova was pictured at the training ground ahead of Sunday's derby against Espanyol.

Looking well: Tito Vilanova poses with his son Adria after playing paddle

Looking well: Tito Vilanova poses with his son Adria after playing paddle

Club President Sandro Rosell had expected the coach to return to work in the middle of January but Vilanova's son, Adria, posted a picture with his father on his Twitter account after the pair played paddle on New Year’s Eve.

The picture appeared alongside the tweet: ‘Happy New Year to all! This afternoon I fired the year with a game of paddle with a special person.’

Barcelona went into the winter break in outstanding form, having dropped just two points in 17 league matches under Vilanova's stewardship after he succeeded Chelsea target Pep Guardiola in the summer.

In the bag: Barcelona are clear at the top of the La Liga title

In the bag: Barcelona are clear at the top of the La Liga title