Jonas Gutierrez has revealed that his testicular cancer has spread to other parts of his body.
The Newcastle winger, whose condition was discovered by doctors after he reported pain following a collision with former Arsenal defender Bacary Sagna, had an operation to remove his testicle in October 2013 and played four games on loan at Norwich City earlier this year.
Doctors discovered the cancer had spread when he went for a scheduled check-up this summer. The winger has been receiving intensive chemotherapy at home in Argentina and has not returned to Newcastle, who informed him last season that he will not play for them again.
"I had a strong collision with Sagna. It caused a lot of pain and well, it really hurt. I spoke to the doctor straight after the game and he told me: 'Don't worry, it's nothing',' said Gutierrez. "After the holidays I began to feel the pain more in the testicle. The league restarted but by September/October, I noticed that the testicle started to swell up and it was inflamed. It felt like a pain, a discomfort. I went back to the doctor and he told me I'd need an ultrasound.
"He detected the tumour and told me they'd like to operate on me the next day."
Gutierrez initially kept his health problems secret, telling only close friends and relatives, but as he nears the end of his chemotherapy treatment, the 31-year-old decided it was time to reveal the torment he has suffered.
In a televised interview with TyC Sport, he said he could not keep his health scare quiet and paid tribute to the support he has received from other players, such as Gabriel Heinze, Newcastle team-mate Fabio Coloccini and Manchester City's Martin Demichelis.
Although Gutierrez had fallen out of favour under manager Alan Pardew, he was a key member of the side that won promotion from the Championship in 2010. Some Newcastle fans have criticised the club for not sending a message of support to a player who is still contracted to the club. (© Daily Teelgraph, London)