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Liverpool may have been handed another boost heading into their Champions League last-16 clash against Real Madrid later this month with Thibaut Courtois the latest Bernabeu star to pick up an injury. The Belgium international was forced to pull out of Real’s starting line-up against Mallorca on Sunday after sustaining a knock during the warm-up.
Courtois could be seen talking with club doctors on the field as he clutched at his left leg. The goalkeeper will now undergo tests to determine the severity of the issue with Ancelotti giving little away after the match.
“Courtois had a problem in the warm-ups and we’ll have tests tomorrow [Monday] to see exactly what the issue is,” he said. “We know it was bad enough that he wasn’t able to play in this game.”
But any niggle will make him a doubt to face off against Liverpool in the first leg of their Champions League round-of-16 tie on February 21. Considered as one of the best goalkeepers in the world, Courtois being unable to play against Liverpool would come as a huge blow to Ancelotti.
He was awarded the Yashin Trophy last year for his heroics in the Champions League final against Liverpool little over six months ago. It’s the latest injury issue for Real with both Karim Benzema and Eder Militao also currently unavailable.
Ferland Mendy, Eden Hazard and Lucas Vazquez have similarly been carrying knocks and it’s unclear when they will return. Ancelotti recently hinted that both Benzema and Militao could be back in time to face Liverpool.
He confirmed the regular starters will travel with the rest of the squad for the Club World Cup. The reigning La Liga champions travel to Morocco this week for the competition and face Al Ahly on Wednesday.
The final will be played on February 11, meaning Real also face a hectic schedule before facing Liverpool. Jurgen Klopp’s side play just twice before they take on Real at Anfield at the end of the month while the Spanish outfit could play up to four games between now and then.
Liverpool could also be rejuvenated by that point with Diogo Jota, Roberto Firmino, Virgil van Dijk and Luis Diaz all closing in on returns.
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