The 30-year-old Scot has been out of action since the Carabao Cup defeat to Leicester City in August, but has been training with the first team.
But further assessments from the Magpies’ medical staff determined that the best course of action would be to perform an operation help clear the area surrounding the problematic ankle in question.
Ritchie is walking ably, and may make a return against Chelsea on October 19th, although that match could still come too soon for him.
Having Ritchie back would be a real boost for the Toon Army. The Scottish international has consistently been one of the most underrated members of the Magpies’ side in recent times, and prior to his injury, he was performing well this season, averaging 2.3 key passes per game, as well as 1.7 successful crosses, and a Whoscored rating of 6.82. He is also a wonderfully versatile player capable of filling several holes in Steve Bruce’s side, and given how poor certain full-backs options have been at points this season, the 58-year-old would no doubt be glad to Ritchie back in his side. The international break has come at a fantastic time with regards to his recovery, and now the hope will be that with some rest and a little bit of luck, he can be back in time for Chelsea.