Barcelona boss Tito Vilanova will miss the Champions League second leg against AC Milan, according to the club president.
Sandro Rosell confirmed that the manager will continue receiving medical treatment in New York, with Pep Guardiola’s former assistant travelling to America on January 21st following an operation to remove a tumour from a saliva gland in December.
"He will not be back for this game with Milan. It is expected that he will be back on the bench in April," said Rosell, according to ESPN.
Jordi Roura has acted as stand-in manager for the Blaugrana since Vilanova’s medical departure, and was in charge on Wednesday night for the team’s shock 2-0 defeat to AC Milan at the San Siro.
However, Rosell believes the deficit is not insurmountable, and that Barca can come back when the Serie ‘A’ giants travel to the Nou Camp.
"Can we come back against Milan? I am always optimistic," he added.
Despite Vilanova’s absence from Spain, the 44-year-old has managed to keep up with first team affairs thanks to a closed-circuit TV system installed by the club.
ESPN claims the former central midfielder is also in contact with Roura and fitness coach Aureli Altimira during games via mobile phone, with sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta claiming he's ‘better informed’ than people who attend training sessions every day.
"You can see Tito is recovering very well. We must be prudent, but there is progress and day-to-day he is getting better. We hope that he will be here soon,” said Zubizarreta.
“He is on top of everything that concerns the team, he is better informed than us here, as he has a lot of time. He can analyse everything instantly, with the difficulty of the distance, of course."