Third time unlucky for Matt Ritchie as Newcastle's season takes a toll on his Scotland career

Newcastle United have revealed that Matt Ritchie has withdrawn from the Scotland squad '“ for the third time this season.

Wednesday, 16th May 2018, 12:07 pm
Updated Wednesday, 16th May 2018, 1:36 pm
Matt Ritchie (Pic: Stephen Dobson)

Ritchie has returned from international duty to have an injury assessed having previously withdrawn from Scotland squads in October and March.

Scotland are set to play Peru and Mexico on May 29 and June 2, but Ritchie will not be a part of the squad that travels to Central America.

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The winger has been a near ever-present at club level over the last two seasons, making 86 appearances since his move to St James's Park in 2016.

And that hectic schedule seems to be catching up with the 28-year-old, with Newcastle confirming that Ritchie would return to the club to have a knee injury assessed.

His last international appearance came in March during a 1-0 defeat to Costa Rica, which remains his only appearance under new boss Alex McLeish.

The Newcastle man then withdrew from the subsequent fixture against Hungary in order to receive medical assessment and that followed a previous withdrawal in October, as the winger sat out of World Cup Qualifiers against Slovakia and Slovenia as a precaution.

Ritchie struggled to hold down a regular starting place under former manager Gordon Strachan, with the ex-Celtic boss often leaving him on the bench or giving him minimal playing time.

But he was handed a start by McLeish in his first game in charge and played 87 minutes, before the injury troubles thwarted his chance to impress the new manager even further.

Speaking about McLeish's appointment in March, Ritchie said: "It's really exciting. New manager, fresh start, new campaign. Hopefully, we can have a successful campaign and start building."

Meanwhile, United defender Ciaran Clark has withdrawn from the Republic of Ireland squad for friendlies against France and the USA with a knee injury.