La Liga

Vilanova to return to NYC for treatment

Tito Vilanova celebrates Barcelona's latest title triumph.
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DOUBTS LINGER

Despite an unprecedented La Liga title, Barca faces a long summer.

Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova will return to New York next week to ''undergo further cancer treatment'' after having a second tumor in two years removed from his throat in December.

The club says Vilanova will be given ''pioneering treatment'' from Monday to Friday that was originally scheduled for this summer but was moved forward after Barcelona clinched the Spanish league title last weekend.

Vilanova spent 10 weeks in a New York hospital receiving treatment after undergoing surgery in Barcelona earlier this year.

Barcelona plays Valladolid on Sunday, the day before its coach leaves, and then has two more games to close out the season.

"The truth is it has not been easy because we came from a big change, from the farewell to [Pep] Guardiola. When Tito took over it was great because he practically changed nothing, " said Lionel Messi after Barcelona clinched the La Liga title earlier this month.

"But when he left himself, we noticed the change, not because [assistant coach Jordi] Roura and the others couldn't do it but because we lacked our first-team coach, he who had led us from day one. It was not the same."

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