Loads of Newcastle United fans have been reacting on social media after Steve Bruce dropped a hammer blow revelation during his pre-game press conference, by confirming that Matt Ritchie will be ruled out until October.
The former Scotland international suffered what Bruce described as a ‘horror challenge’ (Chronicle) at the hands of Leicester City midfielder Hamza Choudhury in the Magpies’ Carabao Cup defeat to the Foxes on Wednesday night, which left the 29-year-old in a ‘mess’ and requiring stitches in his ankle.
Ritchie now faces at least two months on the sidelines after it was confirmed that he had suffered ligament damage, ruling the natural wide midfielder out of Newcastle’s Premier League games with Watford, Liverpool, Brighton, Leicester, Manchester United, Chelsea and Wolves.
He had been one of Bruce’s most utilised players so far this season, having played the full ninety minutes in each top-flight encounter, as well as starting the midweek EFL Cup tie (WhoScored).
Bruce confirmed that it was bad news for Ritchie in his pre-game press conference on Friday morning, though.
“It’s not great news,” he said, via quotes by Newcastle’s Twitter account. “We think he’s going to be [out for] two months. There is ankle ligament damage. Thankfully it’s not six months, but it’s bad enough.”
Newcastle will also be without summer signing Allan Saint-Maximin for Watford’s trip to St James’ Park at the weekend due to a hamstring strain (Sky Sports), while Miguel Almiron, Emil Krafth and Jetro Willems all face late fitness tests.
Bruce is confident that Almiron will be fit to play on Saturday, but doubt over Krafth and Willems raises question marks over who will be deployed at left-back.
News of Ritchie’s absence has sparked a flurry of Newcastle supporters to take to social media to share their reactions, with fans suggesting the verdict is an ‘absolute disaster’ and questioned why the Magpies have suffered so many blows so early into the campaign.
Here’s a selection of the messages shared…
What a joke
— BFK 69000 (@BenKiefer888) August 30, 2019
Thanks Keith, was going to stay off the beer this weekend, on me way to spoons now. Cheers for ruining me weekend pal
— Mup Murphy (@MupMurphy1) August 30, 2019
Absolute disaster. Going to really struggle without him
— Michael Cantwell (@mickycantwell) August 30, 2019
Correct me if i’m wrong, but isn’t this the very reason Rafa didn’t want to compete in the cups? The squad is too thin to risk injuries. #nufc
— NUFC Away (@NUFC_1987) August 30, 2019
3 weeks into the season and all these injured and tired players
— Daniel Ashton (@danielashton88) August 30, 2019
But our facilities are adequate, despite all these finally tuned athletes dropping like flies with minor knocks
— Jimmy (@Jimmy4249) August 30, 2019
Heres me thinking he’s been out for the last few weeks
— ToonBod (@ToonBOD4) August 30, 2019
Should of put Aaron’s in squad over Elliott
— Mick (@Looney_Toon1892) August 30, 2019
Poor first touch, great tackle, these things happen.. does he play Dummett there after his MOM at CB or does he give Wilems a run of games?
— Anthony Brown (@Anthonybrown83) August 30, 2019
An ideal game to pick up 3 points so that’s a blow. Others need to step up.
— Chris Whild (@whild13) August 30, 2019
In all seriousness, I don’t mean this to knock Bruce but we didn’t seem to have this under Rafa. Do you think it’s just a freak time or do you think the training methods or recovery isn’t right?
— SouthernMagpie (@magpie_southern) August 30, 2019
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He was pleased with the investment in the summer. So I expect him to manage without these players.
— shandy (@mijash_) August 30, 2019