Newcastle United manager Steve Bruce has revealed that Matt Ritchie is set to be on the sidelines for two months after sustaining an ankle injury - he also mentioned some doubts ahead of the clash against Watford.
Ritchie picked up the injury from a challenge by Hamza Choudhury during the Carabao Cup defeat to Leicester City.
Bruce confirmed to the club's official website that the wing-back suffered ankle ligament damage in the tackle – for which Choudhury only received a yellow card – and could now be out for up to eight weeks.
“It’s not great news. I think he’s going to be two months, (or) eight weeks. There is ankle ligament damage too, bone bruising and cuts. The kid was in a mess the other night. Thankfully it’s not six months, but it’s bad enough when it’s the best part of eight weeks,” he said.
“He’s angry, frustrated, disappointed, whatever you want to call it. But he’s a great character, Matt, and he’ll get over it, and I’m sure when he gets over the next few days he’ll get to work on getting himself back right.”
Bruce is said to assess the fitness of Emil Krafth and Jetro Willems who are both dealing with muscle niggles.
Forward Joelinton is set to feature against Watford but the manager believes Miguel Almirón will not be match-fit due to his ankle.
“Dwight’s been to see a specialist yesterday. Since I walked through the door, I’ve seen Dwight train once,” said Bruce.
“Yedlin trained yesterday, the first time I’ve seen him train, so one or two are starting to edge back a little bit, so hopefully we can get them all back.
“I think the break has come at the right time for a certain few, and we can put a lot of work into certain individuals who missed pre-season. It’s an ideal opportunity, and in that respect it’s good.”
“We’ve concentrated on Watford and they’ve got a very, very good team,” he said. “They’ve had a disappointing start, but then again anybody can lose three games in the Premier League. They had a very good season last year and they’ve got some good players.
“They’ve got very, very good players. When you look at what they’ve brought in, they’ve strengthened in forward areas and they’ve got a very, very good side. It’s going to be a tough game. I was just saying to my staff there, you look through everyone in the Premier League and they’ve all got good players – that’s why the league’s the way it is. Watford have had a difficult start, but I expect a very, very difficult game.
“It’s a Premier League game, it’s a big game, but if we can get a positive result and manage to win it, to get to six points after four games will be a terrific start for us.”
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