Blow for Real Madrid as Courtois suffers hip injury

Madrid (AFP) –


Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has sustained a hip injury and could miss crunch La Liga games against Real Betis and Sevilla later this month.

Madrid confirmed on Wednesday that Courtois has been diagnosed with a grade one injury, the least severe possible, and he was left out of the squad to face Leganes in the Copa del Rey.

"Following tests carried out on our player Thibaut Courtois today by the Real Madrid Medical Services, he has been diagnosed with a grade 1 injury in the left iliac muscle. His recovery will be monitored," a club statement read.

Real sit in a surprising fifth place in the La Liga table, ten points behind leaders Barcelona and as well as the first leg against Leganes on Wednesday, Courtois is likely to miss Sunday's league match away to Real Betis.

Madrid then play the return fixture against Leganes on January 16 before hosting third-placed Sevilla in the Spanish top flight three days later.

Courtois is likely to be replaced by Keylor Navas, who was named UEFA's best goalkeeper of last season after he helped Madrid win a third Champions League title in a row.

The club still signed Courtois from Chelsea last summer, however, and the Belgian has been first choice since Santiago Solari was appointed coach in November.