The club have released a disappointing update on the fitness of Matt Ritchie in the last few moments, confirming the 30-year-old will be missing until January 2020 after undergoing a second operation.
The wing-back has been missing since August and had been pencilled in for a return to action earlier this month, however an unforeseen setback saw him referred to a specialist, who clearly felt he needed to go under the knife once again.
Here’s the official statement released by the club this morning:
“Newcastle United can confirm that Matt Ritchie has undergone a second operation on the ankle injury he sustained during the Carabao Cup clash with Leicester City in August.
“Ritchie sustained the injury following a challenge by Foxes midfielder Hamza Choudhury and was forced to have an initial surgical procedure in October.
“The 30-year-old will continue his rehabilitation on Tyneside and is expected to return to action in January 2020.”
Thankfully Jetro Willems has been superb in his absence, but this is really disappointing news.
Not only is his experience, intensity and leadership missed, we’re about to enter a hectic festive period and now go into it knowing we are a Willems injury away from having no natural left wing-backs left.
Hopefully the surgery has gone well and he makes a full recovery in the new year!