Jonas Gutierrez made his return to first team action in midweek.
Newcastle United midfielder Jonas Gutierrez has revealed his gratitude for the messages of support he received throughout his battle with testicular cancer, especially those from fans of rivals Sunderland, according to the Telegraph.
“All football fans send messages of support. I was very pleased to receive them all. Messages from Sunderland fans,” he said.
The Argentinian has played in plenty of derbies between the two clubs, and so, is aware of the tension between the Magpies and the Black Cats, but he believes that his health battles help to put the sport in perspective, and can create a surprising bond between the divided fans.
“Derbies are hard in the North East and they said they wanted me to be back. Football is one thing, but being healthy is more important. At times like that, you saw where the football family is,” Gutierrez explained.
The 31-year-old made his triumphant return to John Carver’s side during the narrow defeat to Manchester United on Wednesday, receiving a hero’s reception from the Toon Army, and United supporters alike.
Unfortunately for Gutierrez – though it is not unlikely to damage him greatly, given what he has already been through – it appears that this season may be his last at St James’ Park. His contract expires in the summer, and with no new manager in place as yet for next season, it would seem that the midfielder’s turbulent time with Newcastle is reaching its conclusion.