Without an appearance for Newcastle in almost a year and without a Premier League appearance since early April, we now know where Jonas Gutierrez has been.
The 31-year-old Argentine revealed to an Argentinian TV station that he has been home in his native country receiving treatment for testicular cancer.
“When I confirmed that I had cancer I went home crying,” Gutierrez said. “This was the most difficult game I had to play.”
He confirmed he had surgery to remove a testicle, and began chemotherapy.
“Money is not important,” Gutierrez said. “What is important is health and I had to start chemotherapy. I returned to England and Newcastle told me to leave. It was hard to find my hair falling out. I did not want to cut it. I wanted to hold on. Fighting cancer makes the rest of the problems insignificant.”
The part where Gutierrez says money isn’t important is telling, because he indicated he is picking up the cost of treatment because Newcastle said they don’t want to.
“I came here and I assumed the costs despite having a contract with Newcastle,” Gutierrez said.
Sadly, Gutierrez also confirmed that as a result of his chemotherapy, his brilliant mane did fall out.
While a timetable for when he was forced to start treatment and when he will hopefully be free of the ailment is unclear, much of Gutierrez’s quotes are in the past tense and Newcastle has instructed media not to ask why he was out for periods of time last year. These clues make it seem like he is hopefully on his way down from the worst of the cancer.
Despite being a fan favorite at St. James Park, Gutierrez made just six Premier League appearances last season, just two of them for Newcastle and four for Norwich City on loan.
He tweeted the following two days ago, his first tweet in 121 days: