As well as been knocked out in the early stages of a cup yet again under Mike Ashley, Steve Bruce will wake up this morning with three fresh injury headaches.
Ahead of a crucial game on Saturday at home to Watford, last night’s defeat to Leicester on penalties saw Matt Ritchie (ankle), Jetro Willems (hamstring) and Emil Krafth (thigh) have to leave the pitch, potentially leaving an already decimated squad looking very thin indeed.
On the plus side, Bruce confirmed that Joelinton and Almiron should be fit to return on Saturday, but he was particularly angry about the tackle from Hamza Choudury, which has left Ritchie with stitches and potential ankle ligament damage.
Speaking after the game he said:
“The challenge on Matt Ritchie, if VAR was in operation today, it was a red card; it was a horror challenge.
“He’s a mess. The ref is five yards away, it was over the top”
“We fear ankle damage, he has three cuts which all need stitches. He is a mess.”
It would be a huge blow to lose Matt Ritchie, a player who I consider to be the heartbeat of our team.
That blow would be softened significantly if Willems hadn’t also been injured, but if neither of them make Watford, we face a big problem at left wing back.
It’s not yet known if all three will miss out on Saturday’s game, but with all being forced off just last night with muscle/ligament injuries, I’d be shocked if any recover in time.