FABRICIO Coloccini will be back on Tyneside to captain Newcastle United – sooner rather than later, writes MILES STARFORTH.
Centre-back Coloccini is back in his native Argentina recuperating after breaking two bones in his back against Southampton last month.
And there were fears that the Magpies’ captain would not be fit until early May.
However, Coloccini’s close friend and Argentinian countryman Jonas Gutierrez – who was last night at the Newcastle United Foundation’s inaugural Hall of Fame dinner – believes it won’t be long before the defender is ready to return to action.
Some Newcastle fans, mindful of the “personal matters” that saw Coloccini ask to leave the club in January, expressed concerns that the 31-year-old might not play again for the club.
But Gutierrez – who has been in regular contact with Coloccini – has moved to allay those fears.
Asked if Newcastle supporters would again see Coloccini in a black and white shirt, Gutierrez said: “Yes.
“When he got the injury, they said six to eight weeks only. When you talk about Colo, we know he can do it quicker.
“He always does the right things, and he doesn’t have any problems, so we will see him soon.
“I spoke with him, and he’s feeling better. It is a long-term injury of about a month or so. Therefore it was going to be hard to bring him back in the condition that he left.
“We know what type of professional he is, and we understand he can’t come back and just play a little bit.
“We all want him back to play full games. We want him back as quickly as possible, because he’s really important for us.”
Gutierrez was among the first-team players who attended the Hall of Fame dinner, which saw the late Sir Bobby Robson and a number of formers players, including Alan Shearer, honoured for their contribution to the black and white cause.
The dinner raised money for the Newcastle United Foundation, which is involved in extensive community work.
“It’s always great to meet these players, and it’s for such a good charity,” said midfielder Gutierrez. “I was happy to be there.”