Newcastle United are waiting for news on the severity of Matt Ritchie’s hamstring injury picked up during Tuesday’s friendly with Hibernian, according to the Chronicle.
The 29-year-old was forced off after ten minutes of the pre-season clash, leaving the club in a state of panic after Steve Bruce labelled the midfielder come wing-back one of his key players.
Rolando Aarons replaced the former Scotland international against Hibs, and, with doubt over Ritchie’s fitness, is expected to start in his place against Saint-Etienne at the weekend and potentially at home to Arsenal in the season opener unless the club sign a replacement.
Magpies chiefs are believed to have reached an agreement with Paris Saint-Germain for the transfer of Stanley Nsoki, but are yet to come to an agreement with the 20-year-old over personal terms as United are alleged to have low-balled the defender.
Newcastle are currently waiting to hear the results of Ritchie’s scan though, and new Toon boss Bruce hopes it will not show signs of a lengthy blow.
“We hope it’s not serious,” he said, after the Hibernian game.
“That’s the awful thing at Hibs, because we’re a bit shy in that area. He’ll have a scan in the next 48 hours, and hopefully it’s not too bad.
“He’s nicked a hamstring. Whether it’s a strain or how serious it is we do not know.”
Ritchie made 39 appearances across all competitions during the 2018/19 season, with 18 of his appearances coming at left-back and eleven in his natural right-midfield slot.
Here’s how these Newcastle fans reacted to Bruce’s comments on Ritchie’s potential hamstring injury…
Just shows how thin the squad is no Richie and Bruce thinks our squad is decent with a couple of new players we have been short at left back for 5 years !
— lee carr (@carsy108) July 31, 2019
Going to be a huge loss if he misses any games. Sets the tone
— Michael Cantwell (@mickycantwell) July 30, 2019
We are Shy in every area apart from CBS
— Mark (@mja1980) July 30, 2019
And there’s the problem with #NUFC. One injury to Joelinton and we are worse off than ever
— paul allan (@paulall04339552) July 30, 2019
Better get used to this, every time we lose a player we’re going to be in a mini crisis
People laugh at me when I said we need to replace the Barreca’s and the Kenedy’s…this is why you muppets
— Dell ◻️◼️ (@agbnufc) July 30, 2019
Honestly I’m beyond used to it with this club – a week where nothing catches fire is a Rare one. Part of the fun, but it never stops being frustrating AF. A stable & functional NUFC is frankly unsettling, like ‘…Wait, something’s about to go cock-eyed’ haha
— Chris Postill (@Mr_C_E_Postill) July 31, 2019
So, why are we shy in that area, Bruce? Is that bc of god? Or bc the grapes are not from a good year? Is that bc the sun is always hot or bc dogs wanna eat cats? Is that bc Sunderland is in League1? Or is that bc mike Ashley does not want to spend the clubs money? @NUFC #NUFC
— Henrique Netto (@henriquenettoo) July 30, 2019
‘A bit shy’ shame we haven’t been in talks with wingers for past 6 weeks
— Southern Magpie (@southern_magpie) July 31, 2019