Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has been forced to withdraw from the Belgium squad midway through the international break due to injury.
Courtois played 90 minutes for Belgium and kept a clean sheet in Friday’s Euro 2024 qualifying win over Sweden – his 101st senior appearance for his country.
But what the Belgium camp have described as a ‘minor adductor strain’ means he will play no part in Tuesday’s international friendly against Germany at Koln’s RheinEnergieStadion.
Instead, Courtois has returned to Madrid to be assessed and treated by Real’s medical staff.
Releasing him from duty early is only a precaution and the 30-year-old appears unlikely to be ruled out for any length of time.
Real will be back in action in La Liga on Sunday 2 April when Real Valladolid make the trip across central Spain. Los Blancos are playing catchup in a title race that increasingly looks out of reach following defeat to Barcelona in the recent Clasico at Camp Nou, extending the gap to 12 points.
Courtois has already had a few spells on the sidelines in the last 12 months. He missed Real’s recent FIFA Club World Cup triumph, as well as a game in La Liga in February because of a hamstring problem. A back issue forced him to miss six games across all competitions in October, while pelvic inflammation meant he was ruled out of four of Belgium’s Nations League games last summer.
Courtois missed eight games because of hamstring and hip problems during his first season at Real in 2018/19. But injury or illness had only ruled him out of a couple games in three years until this season’s slightly wider array or fitness issues.