Newcastle United manager Steve Bruce has confirmed that he is fearful winger Matt Ritchie has suffered ligament damage after the club’s League Cup clash against Leicester City.
The Magpies bowed out of the cup at the second round following a penalty shoot-out at St James’ Park, the game finishing 1-1 in regular time.
Bruce was left incensed after the match, blasting a “horror challenge” from Leicester’s Hamza Choudhury on Ritchie which left the Newcastle star requiring stitches and the club believing one of their most experienced players has suffered more serious damage.
Bruce, as quoted by BBC Newcastle’s Matthew Raisbeck on his personal Twitter account, said: “He’s in a mess, Matt Ritchie, at the moment. We hope he hasn’t done ankle ligaments but it certainly looks that way.”
Bruce tells @bbcnewcastle: “He’s in a mess, Matt Ritchie, at the moment. We hope he hasn’t done ankle ligaments but it certainly looks that way. He’s got cuts where he needs stitches and two or three wounds on his leg.” #NUFC
— Matthew Raisbeck (@raisbeck10) August 28, 2019
Newcastle have had a torrid time with injuries in the early stages of this season, although Ritchie’s potential layoff has nothing to do with fitness or preparation on the training ground. As stated by Bruce, Choudhury’s tackle, which received a yellow card on the night, would have probably been turned into a red card had VAR been in action. Only the player knows whether it was malicious or accidental but what is obvious is that such dangerous play has no place in our game. Now Bruce is left wondering whether Ritchie will be able to play against Watford on Saturday, a game the Magpies will be desperate to get some points from after the Hornets’ poor start to the season. Considering he is already sweating over the likes of Joelinton and Miguel Almiron, both of which missed Wednesday’s game, another potentially serious injury is the last thing the manager needs right now. No wonder he was fuming with the Leicester man post-match.