Newcastle manager Steve Bruce believes Matt Ritchie could spend months on the treatment table after picking up a shoulder injury in their 1-1 draw at Tottenham.
Ritchie went down injured in the 66th minute of the game at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, landing directly on his shoulder after attempting to challenge Matt Doherty for a header.
Bruce confirmed after the match that the injury would keep the Scotland international out for a significant period of time, comparing it to the shoulder problem that has sidelined centre-back Fabian Schär since July.
“He [Ritchie] has done the joint in his shoulder,” Bruce confirmed to the Newcastle Chronicle after the game, which saw the Magpies awarded a last-minute penalty in controversial circumstances.
“We don’t think it’s a dislocation, but it looks as though he’s done exactly the same as Fab Schar did, which will probably mean an operation. We will know more in the next couple of days.”
Schär himself had to be operated on after he too went down in the middle of a game holding his shoulder, coincidentally in a match against Tottenham, and the Switzerland international has still not yet been cleared to make his return to Premier League action. Midfielder Isaac Hayden has had to fill in at centre-back at times as Schär continues his recovery, while Florian Lejeune was loaned out to Spanish side Deportivo Alaves earlier in the transfer window.
Ritchie joins a growing list of absentees for Newcastle ahead of their Carabao Cup tie against League Two side Newport County, and Bruce admitted that the squad is looking a little thin for Wednesday’s game.
“We will see how Allan [Saint-Maximin] and Ryan Fraser are for Wednesday,” he said. “Allan has tweaked his ankle, Ryan has a bit of a groin injury.”