Ritchie's Injury Problem

Last updated : 26 March 2018 By Footy Mad - Editor

Newcastle United secured immediate promotion back to the English Premier League at the end of last term, with Matt Ritchie playing an integral role.

Newcastle United completed the £12million signing of Matt Ritchie in the summer of 2016 upon relegation to the Championship, and the Magpies surely got good value for their investment.

The Scotland international registered 12 league goals and assisted 7 more in 42 league appearances, helping Rafa Benitez's side secure promotion to the top-flight at the first time of asking.

Ritchie's decision to sacrifice the glamour of the Premier League for the Championship, by calling it quits at newly-promoted Bournemouth, was widely regarded as a daring move.

However, the 28-year-old has intimated that he made an even more daring sacrifice during last season's campaign.

Ritchie recently revealed to the Scotsman: “I was playing week in, week out for my club and doing well.

"It was more down to the fact I was playing with injections for most of last season to get through the pain barrier.

“It was about managing my body. I made the decision to get treatment back at Newcastle and used the time to get ready for the next game.

"It was about managing my body and not wanting to break down. As soon as the season finished I went straight in for the hernia operation. Now I feel all good.”

Ritchie has continued to play a huge role in Newcastle's attack this term, contributing two goals and five assists in 27 Premier League appearances.

With three years left on his contract, the winger still has a lot to offer Benitez's side, and he is set to help out during the league run-in as the Toons look to hold on to their top-flight status.

Just four points currently separate Newcastle from 18th-placed Southampton, and the next eight games will go a long way in deciding the team's fate.