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N’Castle ace Gutierrez battling testicular cancer

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GUTIERREZ-SOUTHAMPTONLONDON, September 17-Newcastle fan favourite Jonas Gutierrez is undergoing treatment in his native Argentina after being diagnosed with testicular cancer.

The 33-year-old winger has endeared himself to Toon fans since arriving from Real Mallorca in July 2008, helping the club win promotion back to the Premier League at the first attempt following their relegation in his first season on Tyneside.

However, he hardly featured for Magpies manager Alan Pardew last term, making just two league appearances before linking up with the club’s former mentor Chris Hughton at Norwich on loan for the second half of the campaign.

Gutierrez has now revealed that a tumour was discovered last year and he’s since undergone surgery and chemotherapy back in his homeland.

He told Argentine TV show ‘Indirecto’ on TyC Sports: “When I was told I had cancer, I went home in tears. In May 2013, I felt very tough pains on my testicle. After some wrong diagnosis, an ultrasound detected the tumour.

“I came here and I assumed the costs despite having a contract with Newcastle. Money is not important. What is important is my health. I had to start chemotherapy.”

The Argentine international said close friend and Toon team-mate Fabricio Coloccini and other members of the national team have lent their support during his tribulation.

He added: “This is the most difficult match I’ve ever played. You start thinking about important things when you have problems like this one. Some guys like [Gabriel] Heinze gave me strength.

“After surgery, I told [Ezequiel] Lavezzi, [Martin] Demichelis and Coloccini, who is very close to me. We’ve played together at Newcastle for six years and he calls me. He is almost a member of my family.

“I decided to reveal all this because I think this is a difficult moment, but there is nothing wrong with this. These things may help other people.”

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