Newcastle United manager Steve Bruce has confirmed that Matt Ritchie’s injury return has been delayed.
As reported by the @NUFC Twitter handle, Bruce told a press conference that Ritchie has suffered a setback. The 30-year-old has not played since picking up an injury in late September.
Ritchie was on the receiving end of a forceful challenge from Leicester City’s Hamza Choudhury in an EFL Cup game. He has spent the past six weeks on the sidelines but was expected to return after the international break.
However, Bruce has revealed that Ritchie is a doubt for the weekend. He has been back to see the specialist and he is unlikely to play in Newcastle’s next match.
Bruce on Ritchie
Bruce told the press conference (via Newcastle’s Twitter page): “It’s still ongoing. He went to see his specialist again yesterday. It’s a difficult one because he was so close a couple of weeks ago and unfortunately had a setback. It’s difficult and frustrating for him.”
There was better news with Florian Lejeune and Fabian Schar, though. Bruce revealed that the pair were fit and ready to go as long as they train well in the next few days.
There is no need to rush Ritchie back because Newcastle are playing well in his absence. But when he does return, it will provide the Magpies with a major boost.
Ritchie is a popular figure among Newcastle fans and his commitment is unquestionable. Bruce knows that Ritchie is a valuable member of the squad so it is important he gets the timing of his injury return right.