Bruce has now shed light on the latest news with the 30-year-old: “Ritchie was doing really, really well, and had a little bit of a [setback],” he said, as per the Shields Gazette.
“He was doing too much, basically.”
This is a real shame for Newcastle. The former Bournemouth man is a crucial player for the Magpies, and his work rate and technical ability has been much missed while he’s been out. It’s good news that he was recovering well, that suggests he can rebound from this latest setback and come back into the team without too much delay. Unfortunately, he has clearly misjudged his recovery on this occasion. He’s tried to do too much in a bid to hasten his return to Bruce’s starting eleven, and all he’s ended up doing is prolonging his own absence from the first team set up. That’s a real shame for the Magpies fans, Bruce and Ritchie himself. However, it’s a setback that is lessened by how well summer signing Jetro Willems has settled into life in English football. The Dutchman obviously got that stunning goal against Liverpool last time out and has been filling in well for Ritchie at left wing back. Still, the latter’s setback remains a blow to Newcastle.