BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Barcelona says manager Tito Vilanova will return to the touchline on Sunday for the first time since having throat surgery to remove a tumor 16 days ago.
Barcelona assistant coach Jordi Roura said on Saturday that Vilanova "has surprised us all recovering so quickly. In theory, he will be on the bench" for Barcelona's home game against crosstown rival Espanyol.
Vilanova had surgery on Dec. 20 to remove a second tumor in two years. He had the first surgery in 2011 while serving as Pep Guardiola's assistant. Then, he returned to work in 15 days.
Roura said that Vilanova is continuing chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment.
Vilanova only missed one match due to his illness.
Barcelona leads the Spanish league by nine points.