Matt Ritchie is now a doubt for our first game of the 2019/20 Premier League season after suffering a hamstring injury last night.
The left wing-back was seen clutching his hamstring just 10 minutes into Tuesday night’s 3-1 win at Hibernian, with him immediately signalling that he had to come off and heading straight down the tunnel.
He’s set to have a scan today, but the fact it’s a hamstring issue – which are notorious for keeping players out for at least a couple of weeks – along with the fact he knew straight away he couldn’t continue, suggest next Sunday’s game with Arsenal is likely to come too soon.
Here’s what Steve Bruce said about the injury last night, with him appearing to be concerned given how quickly he came off the field after feeling the injury:
“That’s the awful thing tonight because we’re a bit shy in that area.
“He’ll have a scan in the next 48 hours and hopefully it’s not too bad. He’s nicked a hamstring.
“Whether it’s a strain or how serious it is we do not know, but for him to come off with it, that’s not a good sign”
Next Sunday’s game will almost certainly come too soon for the likes of Florian Lejeune, DeAndre Yedlin, Christian Atsu and Dwight Gayle, with all four yet to feature in pre-season as they continue their recovery from injuries.
Lejeune is taking part in light training after injury his ACL earlier this year, Yedlin is recovering after undergoing groin surgery in May, Atsu has been absent after pulling his hamstring at the AFCON with Ghana and Gayle hasn’t kicked a ball yet this summer after struggling to shake off a calf injury.
With this in mind, the team that starts against Arsenal next weekend could look something like this:
(3-5-2): Dubravka – Schar, Lascelles, Dummett – Manquillo, Longstaff, Hayden, Shelvey, Aarons – Almiron, Joelinton.