JONAS Gutierrez says he’s enjoying every minute of his time back on the pitch after beating cancer.
The winger netted for Newcastle United’s Under-21s in last night’s 1-1 draw against Bolton Wanderers at Whitley Park.
Gutierrez – given the all-clear late last year after treatment for testicular cancer in his native Argentina – gave Peter Beardsley’s side the lead with a stunning 20-yard strike early in the game.
But Sammi Odelusi claimed a point for the visitors with a 48th-minute goal.
The game was watched by John Carver, put in temporary charge after Alan Pardew’s departure late last month, and Bolton manager Neil Lennon.
Gutierrez – who hasn’t played a senior game for Newcastle since October 2013 – is pushing for a first-team recall at the club he has served for almost seven years.
Asked about his goal, Gutierrez said: “The most important thing is to get fit and play games.
“Of course, you always want to win, but for me it’s about trying to get fit and do the best in training and give 100 per cent.
“It’s always nice waking up in the morning and knowing I have to train – with the chemotherapy and the treatment I wasn’t allowed to do it.
“I missed it a lot, and I enjoy it more than ever.”
Gutierrez – who is out of contract at the end of the season – played the full 90 minutes.
Fit-again Davide Santon also handed a run-out in the Under-21 Premier League game.
The defender – who had knee surgery last summer – left the pitch with a tight hamstring, but will be fit for Saturday’s home game against Southampton.
Santon hasn’t played a Premier League game since April last year.
NEWCASTLE UNITED: Woodman, Kemen, Santon, Bigirimana, Satka, Gillesphey (Gilliead, 46), Roberts, Smith (Barlaser, 78) Armstrong, Ameobi (Campbell, 62), Gutierrez.