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Football Shorts: Tito returns, Old Firm woes and Liverpool scouting for Danes.

Updated: Friday, 29 Mar 2013 17:22 | Comments

Friday's Football Shorts
Friday's Football Shorts

Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova will take training today for the first time since undergoing treatment for cancer in the United States, his assistant Jordi Roura has confirmed.

Roura, who has been in charge of the team in Vilanova's absence, said at a press conference that Vilanova would not attend tomorrow's Primera Division match away to Celta Vigo.

Vilanova has spent the past two months in New York undergoing chemotherapy and radiotherapy following surgery on his parotid gland in December.

The 44-year-old had suffered a relapse after first having a tumour removed from his throat in November 2011.

His return is a boost to the runaway leaders, who hold a 13-point lead at the top of the table.

Celtic skipper Scott Brown had surgery on an abductor problem during the international break and will be out for four to six weeks, manager Neil Lennon has confirmed.

Ahead of Sunday's Clydesdale Bank Premier League clash with St Mirren in Paisley, the Hoops boss gave an injury update at the club's Lennoxtown training complex.

He said: "Scott Brown had surgery in the break and so he is looking at a month, four to six weeks.

Rangers manager Ally McCoist says chief scout Neil Murray has been suspended by the club.

The Ibrox side are to carry out an investigation and the Light Blues boss was unable to go into any details on the situation.

Reports today suggest the investigation relates to last summer's transfer activity.

McCoist said: "Neil has been suspended by the club pending an investigation.

"It's a really sensitive matter and that's all I can say on it."

Ajax technical director Marc Overmars has confirmed Liverpool are keeping a close watch on midfielder Christian Eriksen.

The 21-year-old Denmark international is one of Europe's hottest prospects but he is out of contract in just over a year and it is expected numerous clubs will make a move this summer.

Liverpool have closely monitored the youngster's progress over the last couple of years and Overmars is well aware of their interest.

"We have the list of the scouts of foreign clubs who have been here recently and Liverpool has been a regular visitor," he told Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf.

Lionel Messi goes into Barcelona's Primera Division clash at Celta Vigo tomorrow on the brink of another incredible record.

The Argentinian has scored in his last 18 consecutive league matches and, should he find the net again tomorrow, would become the first man ever to score in successive games against every team in the Spanish top flight.

Those 18 games have brought 28 goals, helping the Catalans hold a 13-point lead over bitter rivals Real Madrid at the top of the standings.

Celta shut out Messi, if not Barca, in the reverse fixture at the Nou Camp last November, which the hosts won 3-1, but young winger Cristian Tello reckons they will be a tough nut to crack.

Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas is back in training after injury but lacks the necessary sharpness to make the squad for Saturday's La Liga game at Real Zaragoza, according to assistant coach Aitor Karanka.

The Spain and Real captain has been out with a broken finger since January and also missed the World Cup qualifiers against Finland last Friday and France on Tuesday.

"The medical team passed him fit a week ago but he doesn't have the competitive edge needed to be 100 percent for games," Karanka told a news conference on Friday.

United States international Robbie Rogers has said it is "impossible" to remain in soccer after publicly declaring your homosexuality.

The 25-year-old, who last played for English second-tier side Leeds United, said last month he was stepping away from football after becoming only the third professional footballer to announce he was gay.

"In football it's obviously impossible to come out," Rogers said in an interview with the Guardian newspaper on Friday.

"Imagine going to training every day and being in that spotlight?

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