JONAS Gutierrez is ready to resume his Newcastle United career – and inspire his team-mates.
Gutierrez returned to the club yesterday after winning his battle against cancer.
The winger – who had undergone treatment for testicular cancer in his native Argentina – trained with his team-mates for the first time this season.
Gutierrez was given the all-clear last month after a course of a chemotherapy.
United manager Alan Pardew, captain Fabricio Coloccini and the players and staff welcomed Gutierrez back.
“He’ll be looking forward to seeing the training ground, and the people here that he has great love for, particularly Colo,” said Pardew.
Gutierrez is close to Coloccini, his countryman, and the club also signed Argentinian striker Facundo Ferreyra, still to make his debut, in the summer.
Forward Ayoze Perez is another Spanish speaker.
“There is a nice group there with Perez, Colo and Facundo, and he’ll fit nicely into that – into our tapas section.
“I can’t see a situation where he won’t be around here, and we’ll try to get him up to speed as quickly as we can.”
Pardew believes Gutierrez, having come through a gruelling – and latterly public – battle against cancer, will prove to be an inspirational figure at the club.
Asked if Gutierrez would speak to his team-mates about his experience, Pardew said: “Possibly.
“We’ll have a conversation with him and see how he feels.
“Sometimes those illnesses can change your outlook. We’ve all known people go through that and come out the other side with a different aspect on life.”
Gutierrez lost his trademark long hair during chemotherapy.
But the 31-year-old – who was inundated with messages of support from around the world after revealing he had cancer – is growing it back.
The Argentina winger joined United from Real Mallorca in the summer of 2008.
l MATHIEU Debuchy says he will remember his time at Newcastle United for the rest of his life.
The right-back is set to line up against his former employers this evening for the first time since leaving St James’s Park for Arsenal in the summer.
The Frenchman says he has nothing but fond memories of his time on Tyneside, and “can never thank the club and the fans enough” for helping to introduce him to English football.
Debuchy told Arsenal’s matchday programme: “I had a great time at Newcastle.
“I played in a great atmosphere in every home match. The fans are amazing and I will keep those moments all my life.