MATT RITCHIE is facing two months out after suffering ankle damage in midweek.

The Newcastle United wing-back was clattered by Leicester’s Hamza Choudhury in the Carabao Cup exit at St James’ Park.

And the initial diagnosis for the Scottish international has left Bruce frustrated.

“Matt isn’t great – we think he’s going to be two months , ankle ligament damage, cuts, bone bruising,’’ he said at his pre-match press conference. “Thankfully it’s not six months but bad enough when it’s still best part of two months.

“Matt played in the cup game and it’s always a risk [playing in the early rounds], but the baffling thing for me is and I understand the boy apologised, but the referee is five yards away. Let’s hope the young lad learns from it, because he’s a good lad.’’

Bruce added: “Frustrated, disappointed, angry – whatever you want to call it, Matt is feeling it. He’s a great character, but will get over it and get to work.

“He’s a great pro, if they were all like Matt Ritchie then my life would be easy.’’

Of his other injury problems ahead of tomorrow’s visit of Watford to St James’ Park, Bruce added: “I’ve a doubt about Emil Krafth, Jetro, Almiron is a problem, Joelinton should be OK, but let’s see how they shape up in training today.

“Almiron has an ankle injury but we expect him to be OK if he comes through today.’’

Dwight Gayle is no nearer a return and he is awaiting a specialist verdict on his calf problem.