Steve Bruce has been left waiting for an update on Matt Ritchie’s ankle injury, after a specialist deemed the Newcastle United midfielder to be unfit to make his return.
Ritchie has been on the sidelines since late August, when he sustained a blow that left his ankle in a “mess” following a “horror challenge” from Leicester City’s Hamza Choudhury in the Carabao Cup.
Choudhury avoided a red card for his tackle, but the collision has forced Ritchie to miss our last ten Premier League games and the star midfielder is due to miss some more, still.
Speaking after Monday’s defeat at Aston Villa, via quotes by the Chronicle, Bruce stated that Ritchie has been to see a specialist to asses his ankle, but is still waiting for the green light that will allow the £10.8million-rated Scot to feature again.
“He [has] seen a specialist last week and he said to give him another rest and see if that does it,” Bruce stated. “We will see what happens in the next couple of weeks but at the moment he is still not ready to return.”
Will Ritchie feature in Bruce's plans once fit?
Yes, take Almiron's spot
Yes, take Willems' spot
Only from the bench
Ritchie had returned to the training pitches at Darsley Park in September as he stepped up his rehabilitation, but was later forced to have a small operation to clear up the bone around his ankle which pushed his potential return back.
Bruce sent the former Bournemouth midfielder to the Middle East for a mini pre-season camp last month following the operation, and will be hoping that it is not much longer before he can call on the 30-year-old again.
Despite being out for much of the season, Ritchie remains the club’s sixth-most productive player for big chances created in the Premier League with one, and ranks eighth for key passes with seven – just two shy of Miguel Almiron’s total, per Sofa Score figures.