Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois will miss more time after injuring his meniscus during training. The Belgian shot-stopper has not played for Los Blancos this season. He tore the ACL in his left knee just before the beginning of the campaign. Real Madrid has relied on goalkeepers Andriy Lunin and Kepa Arrizabalaga for what has been a successful campaign so far.

However, Courtois had returned to training over the last few weeks to prepare for a return to action. Consequently, manager Carlo Ancelotti wanted to reintroduce Courtois at some point after the March international break. Real Madrid has a pivotal stretch of games to firm up its place at the top of La Liga. Also, Los Blancos will face title holders Manchester City in the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals. The goalkeeper has not featured for Real Madrid this season.

Real Madrid released a statement on Tuesday that confirmed Courtois will stay on the sidelines for the foreseeable future. Sources at ESPN said Courtois departed training in tears upon the realization that he will miss more time.

“Following tests carried out today, Thibaut Courtois has been diagnosed with a ruptured internal meniscus in his right knee,” Madrid said. “The injury occurred during today’s training session. The injury will be monitored.”

Thibaut Courtois meniscus injury may mean the end of the season

While Courtois was understandably emotional upon injuring his other knee, there is still a chance for a return in the 2023/24 campaign. The recovery time for a meniscus tear like Courtois’ is between four and six weeks. If the latter is the case, Courtois could return at the beginning of May. Yet, that only leaves a handful of domestic league games and whatever is left in the UEFA Champions League. At best, Courtois would only be available for eight games. That includes three games in the UEFA Champions League semifinals. That is no guarantee against a club like Manchester City in the quarterfinals.

To avoid running the risk of furthering the injury woes for the 31-year-old, Real Madrid may shut down Courtois so he can build back to full fitness ahead of the 2024/25 season. Additionally, Courtois will want to feature for Belgium at Euro 2024. Rushing back from a meniscus tear after an ACL injury would put question marks around Courtois’ status for that tournament.

Backup goalkeepers have done well for Madrid

Welcoming back Courtois would have been a major boost for Real Madrid, but it is not the end-all for the side now that he will miss more time. Real has only conceded 20 goals in 29 league games. That is among the best defensive records in Europe this season. In the Champions League, Real Madrid has held three clean sheets this season.

Lunin has become the preferential goalkeeper in Carlo Ancelotti’s squad as the season has developed. Remarkably, Lunin has only lost one game as the starter, and that was in the Copa del Rey round of 16. That game went to extra time. Therefore, Lunin has not lost a game for Real Madrid this season in the regular 90 minutes. There is always the chance Courtois would not have that same record should he come back from injury this season.