Friday training session led by Vilanova

This Friday at 16:30, FC Barcelona manager Tito Vilanova was back on the pitch of the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper to lead the team’s training session. The players and staff had been hoping for his return and his presence at today’s session was well received. “Our leader is back and this is always important. It will be a boost for the squad,” assured Jordi Roura at the press conference before the session.

Tito Vilanova will gradually return to his duties with the first team and because of this, in a decision made together with his doctors, he will not travel to Vigo. If all goes well, he will be on the bench on Tuesday at the Parc des Princes in Paris.

Barça’s head coach returned to Barcelona this past Tuesday morning after spending more than two months in New York receiving treatment for his illness. He made the trip back to Spain with Jordi Roura and Aureli Altimira. During his absence, Roura was in charge of the team, though always in contact with Vilanova to agree on all the decisions.

Turning to Saturday’s match against Celta, Éric Abidal has been included on the squad list of 19 for the league game. The French defender has been away from the pitch for more than a year following his liver transplant and subsequent recovery. He last featured on February 26 in 2012 against Atletico Madrid. He received his medical clearance this past February, on the 21st.

Abidal is a welcome additional to the list considering the absences of injured players Adriano, Alba, Puyol, Xavi, and Pedro. Víctor Valdés will also miss the match as he sits out the third game of his four match suspension. Roura will be able to rely on all the available members of the first team for Saturday’s game, plus Barça B players Oier and Deulofeu who make the 19 man squad.