Newcastle United midfielder Matt Ritchie has undergone a small operation on his ankle injury as he ramps up his rehabilitation process, according to the Chronicle.
Ritchie has been on the sidelines since the Magpies faced Leicester City in the Carabao Cup in August, when the Gosport-born winger sustained a blow to his ankle during a heavy challenge from Hamza Choudhury.
Newcastle boss Steve Bruce had been growing ever-more pleased with the rate at which Ritchie was recovering from his ankle injury, after the 30-year-old returned to the practice fields at Darsley Park sooner than first expected.
Further assessments have since been carried out on the state of the former Scotland international’s injury, leaving the Toon deciding it would be best for Ritchie to undergo a small operation on the area around his ankle.
The surgery will push the wide midfielder’s return date back further into the calendar, with Newcastle’s home encounter with Wolverhampton Wanderers or visit to play West Ham United at the London Stadium in November seen as more realistic fixtures over United’s meeting with Chelsea after the international break.
Ritchie is keen to get back on the field as soon as possible and watched Sunday’s triumph over Manchester United from the press box at St. James’ Park, as he wanted to be as close to the action as possible now that he is walking ably.
Newcastle have mostly sufficed at left-back without Ritchie since his injury, with Jetro Willems stepping up to the challenge with a confidence-inspiring performance and goal at Liverpool, before a solid display against Manchester United when he assisted Matty Longstaff’s winning strike (WhoScored).
Having Ritchie back in contention will be a relief for head coach Bruce, though, as the 30-year-old will give him a potential option to rotate duties at full-back, as well as in his natural midfield roles.
Allan Saint-Maximin made a big impact against United (Chronicle), too, but it was once again not the afternoon Miguel Almiron would have been hoping for, as he went what was his 18th game without a goal or assist.
The Paraguayan has now recorded 20 shots and 16 key passes without a goal or assist in black and white, while Ritchie hit two goals and recorded eight assists last term.
Seriously, is Sean Longstaff good enough for Manchester United?
Newcastle fans, will Almiron’s place be under threat when Ritchie is back fit? Let us know in the comments below…Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more Newcastle notifications!