JONAS Gutierrez admitted it was a ‘big step’ for him to return to Newcastle United’s squad today.
The Argentinian was on the bench for the 1-0 win over Aston Villa at St James’s Park.
And while he was an unused substitute, the midfielder was delighted to be back involved with the first team for the first time since beating cancer.
“It’s great to be back,” Gutierrez said. “I’m really happy about what’s happened today.
“The most important thing is that the team won.
“When you have an illness, you think differently about life. It’s a big step to be back with team and at the stadium.
“The fans at Newcastle are special and not just when I had my illness. I thank all football fans for their support.”
Joey Barton, Gutierrez’s former team-mate at Newcastle, said on Twitter: “Great to see @elgalgojonas back on the turf at SJP today. Delighted.”