Barcelona - Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova is to have surgery on Thursday followed by chemotherapy and radiotherapy over the next six weeks, the La Liga leaders said in a statement on Wednesday.
"While monitoring his parotid gland a change has been detected in his condition that requires surgery," Barca said of their coach, who stepped up to replace Pep Guardiola at the end of last season.
Vilanova had surgery to remove a tumour in his saliva glands in November last year.
No news was given on who might stand in on an interim basis with the side still to play Valladolid in La Liga on Saturday before the two-week mid-season break.
Local media speculation has centered on his assistant Jordi Roura or even the return of the out-of-work Guardiola.
"His time in hospital will be about three to four days," Barca said. "During the period after his operation, depending on how he recovers, an attempt will be made to balance his treatment with his working life."