On Wednesday, news of Tito Vilanova’s cancer reoccurrence was broken. By Thursday, he was in the hospital having a tumor removed from his neck. Now, two days later, Vilanova is going home.
The 44-year-old Barcelona head coach was released from the hospital today after a Thursday procedure to remove a tumor from his parotid gland. It’s the second time in 13 months Vilanova’s undergone surgery.
According to statement released by the club, the operation went “as planned”:
“The Barca coach has left hospital this Saturday after Thursday’s operation,” a Barcelona statement read. “Given the post-surgery progress, Tito Vilanova has been discharged from hospital on Saturday afternoon. The Barca coach’s operation on Thursday went as planned.”
Just three days ago, we were talking about finding replacement coaches and speculating how mush time Vilanova might miss. As much as anything, it was a way to distract ourselves from possibilities we knew too little about.
Thankfully, things appear to be at a manageable state (as manageable as something like cancer gets). Vilanova will recover from surgery then start six weeks of chemotherapy and radiation.
In their first game without him, Barcelona won 3-1 on Saturday, taking three points at Real Valladolid. The victory restored their nine-point Primera Division lead over Atlético Madrid.
Nobody’s talked about potential timetables for Vilanova’s return, and for now, that’s just fine. It’s good to hear something positive, like being released from the hospital after a successful procedure. The soccer can wait.