By Rodrigo Faez, Alex Kirkland
Thibaut Courtois is a major doubt for Real Madrid’s next two games — including their crucial Champions League round-of-16 second leg with Manchester City — because of an abductor muscle injury in his left leg.
The goalkeeper left the Benito Villlamarin stadium limping after Madrid’s 2-1 defeat to Real Betis on Sunday night and is now awaiting the results of tests to determine the extent of the injury.
Sources close to the player told ESPN that they are not optimistic about the outcome.
The Belgium international played the game wearing a bandage after experiencing discomfort in the same area in training during last week.
Courtois was still in pain on Monday morning and while test results are needed for confirmation, it looks unlikely that he will be available for Friday night’s La Liga game with Eibar at the Bernabeu.
His participation in Real Madrid’s Champions League game in Manchester next week — where they will look to overturn a 2-1 first leg deficit — is also in doubt, although the goalkeeper has not given up entirely on being involved.
Courtois has been key to Madrid’s improved defensive record in recent months as he has reached his best form since joining from Chelsea in 2018.
In his absence, reserve keeper Alphonse Areola — who is on loan from Paris Saint-Germain — would start, having failed to convince in his three league starts so far, the last coming in November.