By 90Min
October 06, 2017

Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez has provided updates on the fitness of two of his players following withdrawals from their international squads.

Matt Ritchie left the Scotland squad with an unspecified injury, while Ghana's Christian Atsu is expected to miss his country's match against Uganda on Saturday due to a knee problem.

However, they are both thought to be in line to play in the Magpies' clash against Southampton after the break.

Benitez has hinted that there is not much cause for worry. Ritchie's issue is just a niggle, although Atsu's knee problem is said to be an ongoing one which he has been taking injections for since the start of the season.

“He has a little bit of discomfort in his knee and we have to manage it carefully,” Benitez said regarding Atsu, via Chronicle Live.

Ritchie, who is set to miss both of Scotland's important World Cup qualifiers against Slovakia and Slovenia, is being handled carefully.

“Matt Ritchie has been playing too many games,” Benitez added. “He was working very hard, he had a little bit of discomfort and a few little things that he was talking with the doctor.

“It was better that we didn’t take a risk.”

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