real Madrid The goalkeeper suffered a major setback on Thursday Thibaut Courtois He tore a ligament in his left knee just two days before the team’s first game of the season.

The club said its star goalkeeper would require surgery, meaning he would likely be out for the greater part of the campaign. Local media reported that the injury occurred during training.

The injury came after an offseason that saw the striker’s exit Karim BenzemaThe club has not yet signed a replacement.

Courtois, 31, has been a pillar of his success since arriving from Madrid Chelsea In 2018. His defending provided the perfect answer to Benzema’s goals. belgium The international helped Madrid win the Champions League in 2022, the Spanish league title in 2020 and 2022 and last season’s Copa del Rey.

Earlier, Courtois helped Chelsea to two wins Premier League title and an FA Cup. Prior to his stint in London, he played for rivals Real Madrid, Atletico Madridhelped it win the Spanish league and Europa League,

Madrid opens season on Saturday athletic bilbaoWhen Backup is Rarely Used Andrey LuninA Ukrainian player looks set to replace Courtois.

Reporting by The Associated Press.

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