Thibaut Courtois could miss the rest of Real Madrid’s preseason after suffering an injury in training.
Real Madrid announced that Courtois suffered a grade two ankle sprain, though they did not specify a timetable for his return. According to the American Academy of Orthapedic Surgeons, a grade two ankle sprain involves a partial ligament tear in the ankle and could necessitate an air-cast or walking boot to immobilize the ankle. Considering the seriousness, it’s clear that Courtois will be out of training for at least a week or two as the ankle swelling goes down and can heal, before he can return to full training.
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Courtois was predictably left off Real Madrid’s traveling party to Munich where it will face Tottenham in the semifinals of the Audi Cup on Tuesday at the Allianz Arena.
Perhaps ironically, Zinedine Zidane, who was always looking to replace Costa Rica National Team idol Keylor Navas, will now have to start Navas in preseason matches and potentially the start of the La Liga season, should Courtois need more time to recover.
Courtois was forced to pick the ball out of the net seven times last Friday as Real Madrid was trounced by Atletico Madrid at MetLife Stadium, 7-3. Considering how Real Madrid hasn’t done a major defensive upgrade – just signing youngsters Eder Militao and Ferland Mendy – Courtois and Navas could have another tough season facing a lot of opponent shots.
Meanwhile further up the field, there’s more drama in the Real Madrid squad. According to Diario AS, James Rodriguez has been told that he won’t be sold this summer after vying for a permanent move away from Real Madrid.
Rodriguez has spent the last two seasons on loan at Bayern Munich but after the Bavarians didn’t exercise their purchase option on Rodriguez, he has returned to Real Madrid in a tough spot. Real Madrid may have allowed him to leave before the preseason trip to the U.S., but now with Marco Asensio set to miss the season with a torn ACL, Madrid want to keep Rodriguez around for depth.