Steve Bruce explains how Newcastle's Matt Ritchie has 'shocked us all'

Newcastle United Head Coach Steve Bruce smiles during the Newcastle United Training Session at the Newcastle United training Centre on September 11, 2019 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.

Matt Ritchie appeared to have suffered a serious injury against Leicester City but the Newcastle United winger will make his Premier League return soon.

Matt Ritchie of Newcastle United (11)  controls the ball during the second round of the Carabao Cup between Newcastle United and Leicester City at St James' Park on August 28, 2019 in...

Matt Ritchie is in line to return to action before the end of the month and his dramatic recovery from a seemingly serious injury has left Newcastle United boss Steve Bruce gobsmacked, as reported by the Chronicle.

The Scottish winger looked set for eight weeks on the sidelines after he was clattered by the always combative Hamza Choudhury during a Carabao Cup second round clash against Leicester City at the end of August.

Bruce described the tackle as a ‘horror challenge’, while speaking to the Guardian, and insisted that Ritchie’s knee had been left in a ‘mess’.

 

But, just a fortnight on, the former Wigan and Birmingham boss has revealed that the versatile 30-year-old could be back quicker than anyone had expected, even if this weekend’s clash with Premier League challengers Liverpool will come too soon.

"Matt Ritchie has been quite remarkable in his recovery. He’s shocked us all,” Bruce said.

"But the way he trained yesterday and the day before, as long as he doesn't have any reaction, he is not far away. It still could be a couple of weeks."

Matt Ritchie (L) and DeAndre Yedlin (R) share a joke during the Newcastle United Training Session at the Newcastle United Training Centre on April 24, 2019 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.

If there is one positive to come out of Ritchie’s injury, it’s that it has opened the door for summer signing Jetro Willems to adapt to life in English football after his loan move to St James’ Park from Eintracht Frankfurt.

The Dutch international, who once formed a formidable partnership with Magpies flop Luuk de Jong at PSV Eindhoven, has a left foot to rival anyone outside of the top six and should provide plenty of pinpoint crosses for new record signing Joelinton – which could be Newcastle’s best route to a goal against Liverpool at Anfield.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles of Arsenal takes on Jetro Willems of Newcastle during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Arsenal FC at St. James Park on August 11, 2019 in...

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