JONAS Gutierrez is on song for Newcastle United off the pitch – and closing in on his first start since beating cancer.
Gutierrez has made two substitute appearances for the 11th-placed club since being given the all-clear after treatment for testicular cancer late last year.
And the versatile 31-year-old is an option at right-back with Daryl Janmaat set to play in central defence during Fabricio Coloccini’s three-game ban.
Head coach John Carver believes that Gutierrez can make a significant contribution on and off the field between now and the end of the Premier League season, when his contract expires.
“Jonas is a huge character – he never stops singing in the dressing rooms – and it’s good to see him after he’s been out,” said Carver.
“Whether he starts (against Arsenal tomorrow), I can’t give you that information, but he’s getting closer. He’s massive to the group.”
Speaking after last weekend’s 3-0 defeat to Everton, Gutierrez said: “We have to finish in the top 10 – we don’t have any excuses.”