JONAS Gutierrez has revealed he is battling cancer.
The Newcastle United winger has been undergoing treatment for testicular cancer in his native Argentina.
Gutierrez - who had a testicle removed in October last year - has recently undergone a course of chemotherapy.
Fans inundated Gutierrez with get well soon messages on Twitter last night. And he tweeted: “Thanks for all the messages. Always looking forward.”
The 31-year-old has spoken out in the hope of raising awareness of testicular cancer.
“Maybe this will help people with the same problem to fight it,” said Gutierrez, who has lost his trademark long hair during his course of chemotherapy.
The Argentina international, signed by Newcastle in the summer of 2008, admitted he broke down when it was confirmed he had cancer.
He said: “I detected a tumour in a testicle. When the cancer was confirmed, I went home crying.
“I came here and I assumed the costs despite having a contract with Newcastle. Money is not important. What is important is the health. I had to start chemotherapy .
“I had the operation in Argentina. I returned to England, and Newcastle told me to leave.”
Gutierrez, in the last year of his St James’s Park contract, hasn’t played for Newcastle for almost a year. He no longer figured in manager Alan Pardew’s plans last season, and was loaned out to Norwich City in January, where he was reunited with former Newcastle manager Chris Hughton.
Newcastle have deliberately made no comment on Gutierrez’s absence from the club this season because of the sensitivities of the situation.
However, Gutierrez has bravely decided to break his silence and tell his story.
We have launched a FREE football app covering Sunderland AFC, Newcastle United and Hartlepool United.
For all the latest news, gossip and match coverage straight to your mobile and tablet, download the Football Echo now from here: