Real Madrid have confirmed that Belgian goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has suffered an ankle sprain.
Courtois, who conceded three of the seven goals in Los Blacnos' shocking 7-3 defeat to Atletico Madrid in pre-season, was substituted after just 46 minutes in that game, and it has now been revealed he has sustained a 'grade two' sprain in his ankle.
In an official statement on their website, the club explained: "Following the tests carried out by the Real Madrid medical department on our player Thibaut Courtois he has been diagnosed with a grade two sprain to his left ankle. His recovery will continue to be assessed."
While his status could change, such an injury usually sidelines a player for around four to six weeks, forcing him to miss the start of the 2019/20 La Liga season.
Despite a shaky first season at the Santiago Bernabeu, and an even shakier start to preseason, Courtois was set to be Zinedine Zidane's starter heading into the 2019/20 campaign, and it will come as an extra hard blow following the similar losses of Marco Asensio, Luka Jovic, Ferland Mendy and Brahim Diaz.
Speaking to Marca on Friday, following new fullback Mendy's calf strain, Zidane admitted: “It worries me and above all it bothers me.
“We are preparing the players who are here, then we will return to Madrid. I don’t think about who is going to replace Marco. We are devastated with Marco’s injury and our squad is the one we have here.”
It goes without saying that Courtois' absence will not appease those concerns.
Costa Rican veteran Keylor Navas would figure to be the starter in Courtois's absence.