This is what Jetro Willems' injury means for his chances of a permanent move to Newcastle United
The on-loan defender suffered a season-ending injury in Newcastle United’s 1-0 win over Chelsea on Saturday.
Willems – who will now return to Eintracht Frankfurt, his parent club – ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.
Newcastle have also lost Paul Dummett for the rest of the campaign after the defender suffered a tendon injury against Wolverhampton Wanderers earlier this month.
“I was with him (Willems) when he got the bad news,” said Bruce. “He knew. I think we all knew. Of course, he’s had something similar before. We wish him a speedy recovery.
“Whether he’s operated on in London or Germany or Holland is for his parent club. The way surgery is now, they come back. It’s a shame, as he was just getting used to the Premier League, and did very well for us. He’s done very well.”
United had until late this season to decide whether to make Willems’ switch permanent under the terms of his loan agreement, and the club will now follow his surgery and rehabilitation closely before making any decision on a move.
Bruce said: “It just puts everything on hold. We’ll see how he gets on, and revisit it.
“I'll keep in touch with the lad and see how he is. I feel for him because he was just doing very, very well for us. He was playing week in and week out and had done very well and his goals against (Manchester) City and against Liverpool were there for everybody to see.”
Bruce is hopeful Willems – who injured the same knee while at Eintracht – will return to St James's Park next season.
”We'll see where he is,” said Bruce.
“If he operates in the next week, I would have thought, that would probably bring him back into pre-season, so we'll see, see how his recovery is and see where we go from there.”
On Dummett, Bruce said: “We’ve had bad news on Dummett too. It looks as though he’s probably ruled out for the rest of the season too with a tendon injury in his leg.”