Newcastle had been hoping for a faster than expected return from injury for Matt Ritchie, but after a recent set-back, the Shields Gazette is reporting he has had surgery on his ankle.

It is not known exactly how long he will now be sidelined for, but Physio Room’s Premier Injuries website has him listed with a possible return date of November 2.

(Photo by Mark Fletcher/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

It is a big blow for Steve Bruce, who was surely looking forward to having Ritchie and Allan Saint-Maximin in the same starting XI, giving him the opportunity to take Miguel Almiron out of the firing line, in a bid for the Paraguayan to rediscover his form.

Ritchie was the victim of a poor challenge from Leicester midfielder Hamza Choudhury, during the EFL Cup defeat in August.

(Photo by Mark Fletcher/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

But the former Scotland international suffered a set-back in training, as he bid to make a swift recovery, which forced him to curtail his efforts.


The Ritchie injury is the reason managers rest players in cup games

The news that he has now been forced to have surgery to resolve the problem, highlights the reason why many managers prefer to not play their first-team regulars in cup ties.

(Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Choudhury, however, appears not to have changed his ways since that night, with him again making headlines for a similarly bad challenge on Mo Salah against Liverpool at the weekend.

The latest challenge had Jurgen Klopp seething about the tackle, amid familiar sounding protestations that he should have been sent-off

As fans, we want Newcastle and Bruce to prioritise a run in the cup competitions this season, but when incidents like this happen as a result, it is hard to argue with his decision to rest a few, when Premier League survival must come first.

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