Eddie Howe issues Newcastle United update on Matt Ritchie amid injury absences

Matt Ritchie’s edging closer to a return at injury-hit Newcastle United.

Ritchie has been sidelined since last month’s FA Cup defeat to Cambridge United with a knee injury.

However, Eddie Howe – who lost Kieran Trippier to a long-term foot injury last weekend, and will be without Javier Manquillo for tomorrow’s game against West Ham United – is hopeful that the 32-year-old winger will be available soon.

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“I don’t he’s necessarily longer-term,” said United’s head coach. “I think Matt’s in a good place, I don’t think he’s too far away from returning. It’s a strange injury with Matt, he was just striking a ball, and felt something in his knee. So he’s had a period where he’s had minimal activity, but he’s running again in a straight line, and he’s stepping up closer to be backing full-time with the group. I anticipate he won’t be too long.”

Ritchie previously played under Howe at Bournemouth.

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