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Jonas Gutierrez to Play in Newcastle U21 Fixture Following Battle With Cancer

Jonas Gutierrez

Jonas Gutierrez is set to feature in an under-21 fixture having returned to training following his battle with testicular cancer, Newcastle have announced.

The 31-year-old was diagnosed in 2013 and underwent surgery in his native Argentina before moving on loan to Norwich for the remainder of last season.

Gutierrez did not make his health issues public until September and since then he has been discharged from hospital and has begun training – with the club confirming he is set to play some part in a Under-21 Premier League Cup tie against West Ham on Monday afternoon.

Newcastle, who lost 1-0 to fierce rivals Sunderland on Sunday, published an article on their official website revealing the former Real Mallorca man would be turning out.

"Jonas Gutierrez will make his comeback for Newcastle United in Monday's Under-21 Premier League Cup last 16 tie against West Ham United (kick-off 1pm)," it read.

"The Argentine ace returned to Tyneside earlier this month after overcoming cancer and, having taken part in training in recent days, will now make his playing comeback against the Hammers as an over-age player at Whitley Park.

"Ironically, Gutierrez made his last appearance in black and white in the same competition just under a year ago, when United beat Leicester City 2-1 at the same venue."

Despite moving on loan to Carrow Road last year, Gutierrez has been assured of a role in Newcastle's first-team by manager Alan Pardew.

"We're pleased to have him back," Pardew said of the Argentina international last week.

"Jonas is one of those people who livens up the training ground just with his personality, and obviously his illness has magnified that fact. He hasn't been around much but he's in pretty good shape and we are hoping that in two or three weeks he could be back in and around the first team.

"He's keen to earn his right to play but, like any player here, I have to give him an even keel in terms of access to the first team. It's now up to Jonas but it will certainly be emotional for us and for him when he returns, and we will look forward to it."

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