Newcastle United have been left reeling after it was revealed that the influential Matt Ritchie has had to undergo surgery on his ankle to resolve the injury, he suffered in a Carabao Cup tie in August.
Ritchie was caught by a nasty tackle from Hamza Choudhury – who has received criticism from Jurgen Klopp this week for a similar challenge.
Since the tackle, Ritchie has missed every Newcastle game, and they have not only missed his ability on the pitch but also his fantastic work rate and will to win.
The 30-year-old returned to training in recent weeks, and it was hoped he would be back for the game with Manchester United, but a further setback has meant that the Scotland international will have to undergo surgery.
Instead, Ritchie watched the Manchester United match from the press box as he wanted to be as close to the action as possible – this is typical from a player who is so committed to Newcastle United.
However, he will probably miss Newcastle’s game with Chelsea but may be back for the match with Wolverhampton Wanderers on the 27th.
Certainly, Newcastle could do with him back on the pitch as soon as possible, and this latest setback will be a blow to Steve Bruce.