JONAS Gutierrez will make his long-awaited playing comeback next week – after delivering a special message to Newcastle United’s fans.
Gutierrez is back in training at the club after undergoing treatment for testicular cancer in his native Argentina.
The winger will play in Monday afternoon’s Under-21 Premier League game against West Ham United at Whitley Park (1pm kick-off).
Gutierrez last pulled on a black and white shirt almost a year ago, also for the Under-21s.
United manager Alan Pardew feels the 31-year-old – who had been training with a team in Argentina – is already fit enough to make a playing comeback.
“I had a quick chat with him, and he’s going to play against West Ham on Monday in the reserves,” said Pardew.
“That’s his first game for a while. He’s obviously done a lot of running and been looking after himself.
“He had trained with a team in Argentina with a football, but is still a bit rusty with it, but that will come.
“It’ll be great for everyone to have him back, and good for everyone to see him back in a Newcastle shirt.
“It will be good if a few of our fans want to travel to the game on Monday.”
Before then, a message from Gutierrez will be shown on the big screen at St James’s Park before tomorrow’s Tyne-Wear derby.
Gutierrez was inundated with messages of support from United supporters – and fans of all clubs around the world – after revealing he was fighting cancer earlier this season.
And captain Fabricio Coloccini said earlier this month that Gutierrez had been moved to tears when he heard his name sung while watching the team on TV.
Gutierrez has already livened up the club’s dressing room.
“We haven’t been around Jonas much because we were at Tottenham, but he’s fine,” said Pardew.
“The changing room is now getting changed to a samba beat, with Jonas singing at the top of his voice and walking around naked as normal. So it’s great to have him back.”