Steve Bruce has confirmed that Matt Ritchie won’t be back in action for at least another couple of weeks following his meeting with a specialist.
The wing-back has been out since August with ankle ligament damage, but one player who will be back this weekend is Sean Longstaff – who completed his 3-match ban last night – while Fabian Schar and Florian Lejeune will also be in contention to return.
Ritchie was initially tipped to return ‘at the end of the month’ as we headed into the international break, however it looks like he’ll do well to feature over the festive period if Steve Bruce’s comments are anything to go by:
“Unfortunately he is not near fitness at the moment.
“He seen a specialist last week and he said to give him another rest and see if that does it.
“We will see what happens in the next couple of weeks but at the moment he is still not ready to return.”
Some will say Ritchie hasn’t been missed given how good Jetro Willems has been at left wing-back in his absence, yet nights like last night highlight just how much we could have done with his energy, leadership and commitment to the cause.
We lack leaders as it is, but Ritchie’s absence was felt even more last night without skipper Jamaal Lascelles.
Let’s hope another period of rest does him good and that he’s back in training soon and able to feature over what promises to be a hectic festive period with plenty ‘winnable’ games.