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.
Meanwhile, Adam Armstrong’s good enough AND old enough to play for Newcastle United – and closer than ever to Alan Pardew’s starting XI.
Armstrong’s set for his first taste of a senior Tyne-Wear derby tomorrow.
The teenager came on for the last hour of the club’s 4-0 Capital One Cup defeat to Tottenham Hotspur in midweek.
Armstrong, 17, livened up Newcastle in the final third of the pitch and created a couple of opportunities for himself.
And United manager Pardew won’t be afraid to pitch the forward in against Sunderland.
“It was nice for Armstrong to show to our fans that he’s not just about workrate,” said Pardew.
“When the moment comes, Adam’s going to be a big player for us.”