Thibaut Courtois injury: Real Madrid and Belgium goalkeeper suffers new long-term knee problem

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Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has suffered a long-term injury to his right knee during a training session as part of his recovery from a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his left knee.

Belgium international Courtois, who has not played since June 2023, sustained a ruptured internal meniscus in his right knee on Tuesday, the Liga leaders announced. Marca reported that Courtois left the training pitch in tears and will require surgery.

In an update on social media on March 9, Courtois shared a video of himself making saves and said: “In each training session, I feel closer. Thank you for your support, it gives me a lot of energy.”

The 31-year-old will now not be able to gain revenge on Manchester City for his last appearance in the Uefa Champions League, when the Premier League side beat Madrid 4-0 at Etihad Stadium to secure a 5-1 aggregate win in the semi-finals of last season’s competition.

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Madrid host City on April 9 in the first leg of their quarter-final, when Andriy Lunin is likely to deputise for Courtois.

Ukraine goalkeeper Lunin has helped Madrid establish the best defensive record in the Spanish top flight and move eight points clear of second-placed Barcelona with an 18-goal superiority on the reigning champions.

Courtois injured: Second knee issue

Speaking on Monday, Ancelotti said Courtois and defender Eder Militao, who also suffered an ACL injury on the opening day of the season, had completed “normal training sessions” as their prospects of returning to contention progressed.

“During the break they will play two friendlies against the youth team,” the Italian said when he was asked whether the pair would feature against City.

“Yes, I think they can make it. In fact, the idea is that they will be available on the 31st, [at home to] Athletic [in La Liga]. But we won’t risk anything, that’s more than clear to us.”

Belgium are also now likely to be without Courtois for their Uefa Euro 2024 campaign in Germany, although he would almost certainly not have played amid a dispute with Domenico Tedesco.

The Red Devils manager said earlier this week that Courtois did not feel ready to play at the finals, leading the 2018 Fifa Best Goalkeeper to respond with a series of emojis suggesting Tedesco was not being truthful.

Courtois is thought to have had a disagreement with Tedesco in June over Romelu Lukaku being given the Belgium captaincy instead of him while regular skipper Kevin De Bruyne was unavailable.

Ben Miller
Ben Miller
Ben has more than 10 years' experience in sports journalism, covering two EURO tournaments, European club competitions, the Premier League, EFL and WSL and a variety of other major sporting events.

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