Newcastle United injury boost with key man set to return for FA Cup

Matt Ritchie is set to return to the Newcastle United bench in the FA Cup – provided he comes through training unscathed.

Friday, 3rd January 2020, 9:30 am
Updated Friday, 3rd January 2020, 4:45 pm
NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - AUGUST 11: Ainsley Maitland-Niles of Arsenal tackles Matt Ritchie of Newcastle United during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Arsenal FC at St. James Park on August 11, 2019 in Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Ritchie has been out since August after a horror challenge in the League Cup by Hamza Choudhury smashed his ankle.

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But on the eve of the Magpies’ FA Cup third round trip to Rochdale, Bruce has revealed Ritchie is likely to be back this weekend.

“Ritchie is training, if he gets through OK, he will take part on the bench,” said Bruce.

“We haven't seen Matt Ritchie all season – he will be like a new player for me. He is lively, bubbly, a big personality in the dressing room. I hope, touch wood, he is OK. It has been a long road and is due a run of games. He has trained and you see what you have missed.”