Matt Ritchie was injured back on 28 August 2019.
The versatile Newcastle player suffering a nasty ankle injury following a poor challenge from Hamza Choudhury.
Matt Ritchie forced out of action and Newcastle fans amazed that Choudhury wasn’t red carded.
Initial estimates suggested eight weeks to recover but very quickly after the incident, Steve Bruce stated that Ritchie was making such good progress he expected him back far sooner.
The weeks have ticked by with no sign of any playing return and now it has been revealed that Matt Ritchie has been forced to have an operation on his ankle.
In their report, The Chronicle say that following Bruce’s overly positive comments, the medical experts decided that instead it would be best to do it properly and hopefully sort the ankle issue out longer-term by having the surgery. The club maybe mindful that Steve Bruce had already rushed Allan Saint-Maximin back far too early against Spurs, the head coach starting the winger only 48 hours after he had returned to full training. The player only lasting 17 minutes before making his hamstring problem worse and out for far longer.
The report says that Matt Ritchie is now walking ok and is continually being assessed but it is doubtful he will be ready for Chelsea even despite the international break.
With Wolves or even into November and the West Ham away match being a more realistic target.
As well as his contributions to the team, the super fit Ritchie has an impressive record of previous availability.
The winger/wing-back was available for 116 of the 122 NUFC league games before this season and most of the six games where he wasn’t available for selection was down to suspension, not injury.
Whilst Ritchie has also shown commendable willingness to make up for the lack of investment in the squad by playing alongside largely squad players in the cup competitions, the former Bournemouth star having started in 10 cup games so far for Newcastle United.