Barcelona medical chief Ramon Cugat admits David Villa risked losing his leg as he flew back from Japan last year.

Villa suffered a leg break during the Club World Cup last season in Japan.

Cugat recalled: "When the pressure changes to eight, ten, twelve thousand feet, it affects the body a lot. It can have a very important effect on injuries, even losing a limb."

The surgeon praised coach Tito Vilanova for his role in Villa's recovery.

"He (Villa) had the support of a craftsman, an expert, by the name of Tito Vilanova. He was very, very specific in the player's recovery. He is very clever."