(Reuters) - Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois will be sidelined for several months as he requires surgery after suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his left knee during Thursday's training session, the LaLiga club said.
The 31-year-old Belgian international left the practice field in tears and an MRI scan confirmed the ACL tear two days ahead of Real's LaLiga season debut at Athletic Bilbao.
"Following tests carried out on Thibaut Courtois, the player has been diagnosed with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. The player will undergo surgery in the coming days," the club said in a statement.
The injury is a major blow for Real as they will have to make do without the services of one of their key players for the foreseeable future.
Courtois joined from Chelsea in 2018 after winning two Premier League titles, the FA Cup and the League Cup during his time at Stamford Bridge.
He was named Player-of-the-Match following the 2022 Champions League final after producing one of the greatest goalkeeping performances in an European Cup finale.
Courtois recorded nine saves to deny Liverpool in Paris, leading his club to a record extending 14th European title after a 1-0 win.
Real Madrid have only one other goalkeeper in their first team squad, Ukraine's Andriy Lunin.
The 24-year-old Lunin has made only nine Spanish league appearances for the club since signing from Zorya Luhansk in 2018. He spent his first two seasons in Spain on loan spells with Leganes, Valladolid and Oviedo.