Loads of Newcastle United fans have been reacting online after the club confirmed that Matt Ritchie has undergone surgery on his ankle for a second time, and is now not expected to return to action until the New Year.
Ritchie sustained the blow following a tackle from Leicester City midfielder Hamza Choudhury in our Carabao Cup First Round defeat in August, which head coach Steve Bruce described as a “horror challenge” and one that left the 30-year-old in a “mess”.
He has since suffered frequent setbacks on his comeback trail, and was forced to have an initial operation in October to clear up the bone around his ankle.
Ritchie had returned to the training pitches at Darsley Park back in September as he stepped up his rehabilitation, but the ex-Bournemouth ace has not stepped foot on the field at St. James’ Park since the EFL Cup tie with the Foxes.
Bruce had been waiting for a positive update from a specialist to see if Ritchie would be given the green light to make his long-awaited return as we enter a frantic festive schedule, but the news was evidently disheartening with the club announcing that the midfielder has been forced to go under the knife again.
Ritchie has played a total of 315 minutes across all competitions this season, and is expected to remain on the sidelines until January.
Will Ritchie feature in Bruce's plans once fit?
Yes, take Almiron's spot
Yes, take Willems' spot
Only from the bench
Here are some of the reactions offered as fans reacted to news of the £45,000-per-week ace’s latest operation…
Choudhury not even sent off. He’s got previous as well. https://t.co/DRNUnnS8kh
— V Man (@bvinton) November 28, 2019
We need him to fit for next season promotion. Push
— scott (@howay_the_lad) November 28, 2019
Can only mean one thing, Jetro Willems is nailed till then
— WJVLI™ (@kabwejungira) November 28, 2019
😡 gutted. need him back as he’s our natural leader
— Sean Graham ⚫⚪ (@piroski_7) November 28, 2019
Not ideal but we do have enough players in his position to cover for the next 5+ weeks. Missing his leadership on the pitch more than anything.
— Andrew McVittie (@Andrew_McVittie) November 28, 2019
Ya see all these bad tackles that get reds n pundits r like yeah red card cudda been nasty injury n usually it’s not, but wen we get a player BADLY injured its only a yellow n let’s not talk about it again..
— YoungY (@myoungy2805) November 28, 2019
— NixaMattR (@NixaMattR) November 28, 2019
— Danny Doom ⚪⚫ (@DannyBrown333) November 28, 2019
Ohhhhhh Ritchies ankles tragic…
— Luke (@NotoriousB_U_T) November 28, 2019