‘Cruciate ligament injury’ Courtois could return in May
Thursday, Thibaut Courtois opened up about his return.
Real Madrid lost Courtois before the season even started. “Courtois has ruptured the cruciate ligament in his left knee. He will undergo surgery in the coming days,” the club announced on its website. The injury is reportedly severe. According to British publication The Athletic, he is likely to be out for the season.
Real brought in Kepa Arrizabalaga on loan from Chelsea as Courtois was sidelined for an extended period of time. It was thought that Courtois would not return this season. “If I’m lucky, I can play one game in May,” Courtois said. But I’m not going to push myself and I’m not going to play at UEFA Euro 2024,” he said.
“Real have made it clear that they don’t want me to come back too soon when I’m not 100%. I don’t want to betray their trust,” he added.
Last season, Real didn’t live up to its reputation. They finished second in the league and reached the quarterfinals of the UEFA Champions League (UCL). That’s not bad, but given their reputation, Real’s report card was far from satisfactory. They narrowly avoided relegation by winning the Copa del Rey.
With Judd Bellingham at the helm, Real looked to put last season’s disappointment behind them this season. However, a series of injuries have made the season more difficult than expected. In the UCL, they reached the round of 16 after topping their group with an unbeaten record, but in the league, they are second behind Girona.
Courtois’ decision to miss Euro 2024 spells trouble for Belgium’s national team. Euro 2024 will be held in Germany next June. Belgium qualified for the tournament by going undefeated in Group F of Euro qualifying. Belgium hasn’t won a major tournament in a long time, even with the likes of Eden Hazard, Romelu Lukaku, and Kevin De Bruyne.
They were hoping to put that behind them in this tournament. However, with Courtois’ departure, Belgium will have to find a new goalkeeper. In Courtois’ absence, the Belgians have rotated between Coen Casteeles and Mats Sels. Both players lack A-match experience. Casteils has played four A matches and Sels has played two A matches.
Courtois has been recognized as one of the best goalkeepers in recent years. At nearly 2 meters tall, he has the perfect body type for a goalkeeper. His long arms allow him to save shots that are headed for the corner. His height and reaction time allow him to make excellent saves. He’s also very stable underfoot. Courtois’ injury is a huge blow to both Real and the Belgian national team.