Premier League: Newcastle United defender Jonas Gutierrez returns to action
Last Updated: 22/12/14 9:58pm
Newcastle defender Jonas Gutierrez has returned to action for the club’s U21s side after recovering from testicular cancer.
The Argentine was diagnosed with the disease in 2013 but did not make the matter public knowledge until September.
Gutierrez played four matches on loan at Norwich last season, with his last appearance coming for the Canaries in April.
The 31-year-old captained the Magpies for 88 minutes of his side’s 4-1 victory over West Ham U21s on Monday as they advanced into the quarter-finals of the U21 Premier League Cup and after the match he took to Twitter to thank those who had supported him as he battled cancer.
Thanks to all the fans for the support that you give through my illness, I am proud to be back.
"Thanks to all the fans for the support that you give through my illness, I am proud to be back. Good game and really happy. Thanks," Gutierrez tweeted.
Newcastle Football Development Manager Peter Beardsley, who is in charge of the U21 side, was delighted to have Gutierrez back in the fold.
“I can’t begin to think what he’s gone through but as a person and a character, he is top class,” Beardsley told Sky Sports News HQ.
“He is popular with everyone at the club and they all love him so in that sense, it’s a perfect Christmas.”
Sunderland boss Gus Poyet had led his side to a 1-0 win over Newcastle in the Tyne-Wear derby barely 24 hours earlier and he was among the 500-strong crowd watching the game as he checked on the progress of his son Diego, who was playing for West Ham.