Tito to return, Villa out of Malaga clash
Cancer-battling Barcelona boss Tito Vilanova will be back in charge for Sunday's trip to Malaga, assistant coach of La Liga leaders, Jordi Roura, said Saturday.
Vilanova, who has undergone treatment for cancer of the salivary gland, missed the midweek Spanish Cup win over Cordoba when he flew to New York to seek a second opinion on his illness.
"Tito will be on the bench against Malaga," said Roura. "He is the chief coach of Barcelona and his presence gives courage to everybody. It's important that he is there."
Striker David Villa has been ruled out of the match through injury. The Spain striker, who scored twice in the 5-0 midweek Copa del Rey win over Cordoba, picked up a hamstring injury in training today and has been withdrawn from the squad.
Villa was also forced off in the 77th minute of Thursday's cup tie with a leg injury and Barca say it is too soon to tell how long today's latest setback will keep him on the sidelines.
"The striker noticed discomfort during training this afternoon and, after testing, has been shown to have a hamstring elongation and will not play in Malaga," read a statement on fcbarcelona.es. "(The injury's) evolution will decide his availability for the next games, as determined by the club's medical services."