Newcastle winger Jonas Gutierrez has been offered messages of support from former team-mates and supporters groups after revealing he is having treatment following diagnosis of testicular cancer in his native Argentina.
The 31-year-old midfielder told an Argentinian TV show how he has undergone chemotherapy after having surgery following the discovery of a tumour, which was first noticed last year, and expressed his gratitude to well-wishers late on Tuesday night, saying: "Thanks for all the messages. Always looking forward."
Former Newcastle team-mate Joey Barton, now at QPR, took to Twitter to post his support to Gutierrez.
"Heard the terrible news about Jonas. Wish him a speedy recovery. Great guy with a great family. My thoughts are with them all," Barton posted on the social media site.
Denmark forward Peter Lovenkrands, who played at Newcastle from 2009 to 2012, also spoke of his concern for Gutierrez. He said on Twitter: "Can't believe the news about my good friend Jonas. Testicle cancer. I wish you a speedy recovery my friend. £SpiderMan £Nufc"
Former Magpies goalkeeper Steve Harper added: "Buena suerte a mi amigo Jonas with his battle with testicular cancer. Great lad and teammate who always gave 100% for the Toon shirt."
Who could replace Alan Pardew as Newcastle manager?
Who could replace Alan Pardew as Newcastle manager?
1/7 Steve Bruce
Having got Hull City promoted back to the Premier League and then taking them to the FA Cup final last May, Bruce is steadily adding to his reputation as a manager. His previous role at Sunderland was always fraught due to his Geordie roots - but that certainly wouldn't be a problem at St James' Park. The former Manchester United defender didn't disgrace himself during spells in charge of Wigan and Birmingham either.
2/7 Neil Lennon
The former Leicester player was highly successful during his time at Celtic - his only managerial position to date. He won three league titles and caused a few upsets in the Champions League. Has been linked with Premier League roles for some time and is currently a free agent having stepped down at the end of the last season after four years in charge.
3/7 Steve McClaren
McClaren's career is difficult to judge. Performed a few miracles at Middlebrough then came the England job. Won the Eredivisie title with FC Twente, then had strange spells with Wolfsburg and Nottingham Forest. It seems the 53-year-old could be back on the way up judging by Derby's solid start to the season and owing to his North East roots, could be a good option for Newcastle.
4/7 Michael Laudrup
A more glamorous appointment that could appease the fans would be that of Laudrup. During his time at Swansea he did brilliantly, bringing in rough gems that he polished into a League Cup winning side. The style of play he instilled was impossible not to admire. The former Barcelona midfielder is currently in charge of Qatari side Lekhwiya.
5/7 Joe Kinnear
Surely Mike Ashley wouldn't - would he? Kinnear was unpopular during his previous spell in charge of Newcastle before it came to an end due to health issues. He was then made Director of Football but a few embarrassing episodes, from getting players' names wrong to failing to visibly do anything soured his standing amongst the fans further.
6/7 Paolo Di Canio
The controversial Italian is just the type of character that would ensure a continuation of the Newcastle United soap opera. And that's why he shouldn't be discounted. Actually did quite well in charge of Swindon and managed to keep Sunderland afloat after being parachuted in. His controversial knee-sliding celebrations when the Black Cats won at St James' Park won't have done him any favours though, and neither will the reports of complete discontent by the end of his reign at the Stadium of Light.
7/7 Roberto Di Matteo
Seemingly linked with every job going, remarkably Di Matteo is still yet to dip his toe back into the choppy management waters since taking Chelsea to Champions League glory in 2012. His feat with the Blues whilst caretaker manager has ensured he is a popular choice whenever vacancies come up, whilst his spells at MK Dons and West Brom weren't too shabby either.
Gutierrez joined Newcastle from Mallorca in July 2008 and became a fans' favourite when he played a starring role in helping the club win the Championship in his second season in the north-east.
However, he was largely unused by manager Alan Pardew last season and was allowed to join Norwich on loan for the second half of the campaign, where he made his last league appearance in the Canaries' 1-0 defeat to West Brom in April.
Newcastle supporters have suggested a minute's applause could be held during the 18th minute - representing the players' shirt number - against Hull.
The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, which was set up in a bid to help the on-going fight against cancer, offered their support.
"NUFC's Jonas Gutierrez has announced he's receiving treatment for testicular cancer. Our very best wishes are with you Jonas."
Sunderland supporters' group TFS Sunderland also offered support. "Thoughts go out to Jonas Gutierrez after hearing the news he's battling testicular cancer. there's more to life.... Cancer is a horrible thing to happen to anyone, no matter who you support."
Newcastle are expected to make an official club comment later on Wednesday.
Gutierrez revealed his battles in an emotional interview with Argentinian TV show Indirecto on TyC Sports.
"When I was told I had cancer, I went home in tears," he said.
"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."
Gutierrez, who has made 22 appearances for his country, has admitted several national colleagues, including close friend and Newcastle team-mate Fabricio Coloccini, have been a great help.
He added: "This is the most difficult match I've every 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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