Bruce has claimed that Sunday’s game against Wolves might come too early for Ritchie in his return from the injury he picked up in the Carabao Cup clash against Leicester City.
The Magpies’ boss also revealed that Florian Lejeune will miss the clash at St James’ Park, and will complete a game with the under-23s before returning.
Bruce shared that the Scotsman has completed two days of training after finishing an intensive week-long fitness course in his rehabilitation.
“He’s trained for two days but we mustn’t forget he’s been out for two months,” he told the Chronicle.
“The weekend, I would think, might be a little too early.”
The return of Ritchie will certainly have been a welcome one, but the truth is, the 30-year-old wouldn’t deserve a place straight back in the Newcastle side. Jetro Willems has been superb for the Magpies both going forward and in defence from left wing-back and has more than cemented his place in the side at St James’ Park. Ritchie’s experience will certainly be key going forward, but Bruce will know that he can not rush any of his players back from injury this season, especially after such a long absence, it could only take a recurring problem to come back and then someone like Ritchie could be out for even longer than just the two months. As long as Bruce has the options to cover the absence of the former Bournemouth man, then there is no need to risk him, and Ritchie himself should also consider his best interests when trying to convince everyone he is ready for the game against Wolves.