Amidst the ongoing injury crisis at Newcastle, Matt Ritchie looks set to make his long-awaited return.
The Scotland international has been out of action since the end of August, picking up an ankle injury after a nasty challenge from Leicester midfielder Hamza Choudhury.
But after multiple setbacks, Ritchie is set to return this weekend in the FA Cup.
“He’s [Ritchie] training and if all goes well today he’ll be on the bench tomorrow,” Bruce told the club’s official website.
“He trained yesterday and you realise what you’ve missed. He’s effervescent, he’s lively and he’s a big personality in the dressing room. It’s good to see him back and hopefully he’s OK.”
Having missed four months of action, we can’t afford to rush Ritchie back. But his return is a massive boost.
While we’ve done well at times in his absence, there’s been games where we’ve missed his energy and leadership. He gives everyone a lift with his infectious enthusiasm, and he can also delivery quality on the ball when it matters.
With the Christmas period decimating Bruce’s squad, having Ritchie back in contention is a huge positive. Hopefully he gets through some minutes against Rochdale unscathed and can continue his comeback in the Premier League the week after against Wolves.