Ritchie ruled out of Newcastle squad for 8 weeks after a ‘horror challenge’

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Winger Matt Ritchie ruled out of Newcastle squad for eight weeks following a ankle ligament damage he picked against Hamza Choudhury during their tie with Leicester City on Wednesday. 

Ritchie was forced off the pitch during the first half of Newcastle’s penalty shoot-out defeat to Leicester in the EFL Cup second round on Wednesday.

And boss Steve Bruce criticized Choudhury for the nature of the challenge and said he expects to be without versatile wideman Ritchie in his Newcastle squad until October – though he feared the lay-off would be longer.

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“It’s bad news – it’s two months. The kid is in a mess,” he said at Friday’s news conference.

“It could have been worse, six months, but it was one of those horror challenges.

“What was disappointing is the ref was very close to it.

“I hope [Choudhury] learns from it – he is a good player. Matt is angry but he will get over it and start working.”

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The manager also confirmed Allan Saint-Maximin is out for up to five weeks with a hamstring injury, while Emil Krafth, Jetro Willems and Miguel Almiron are doubts for Saturday’s Premier League clash with Watford.

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