Real Madrid no.1 Thibaut Courtois left training in tears after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament just days before the new season kicks off.
The Belgian shot-stopper has been a revelation since his arrival at the Santiago Bernabeu, and made several excellent saves across both their most recent campaign and their Champions League success in 2022.
However, he is now set to be sidelined for much of the upcoming campaign.
With Real Madrid in action against Athletic Club on Saturday evening, the goalkeeper went down injured during Thursday’s training session and limped out in tears over fears of a potential knee injury.
The scans confirmed his worst fears, with a statement reading that ‘he has been diagnosed with a rupture of the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee’ and will undergo surgery ‘in the coming days’.
It will mean that Courtois is set to miss much of the upcoming campaign, with knee injuries taking between six and 12 months to recover from.
The news could force Real Madrid back into the transfer market, despite Florentino Perez having previously claimed that their business for the summer was complete upon the signings of Joselu and Jude Bellingham.
As it stands, Ukrainian shot-stopper Andriy Lunin is the only other option available for Carlo Ancelotti to call upon between the sticks, and he is almost certain to begin the season as no.1 unless a goalkeeper is signed in the coming hours.
One option could be to revisit a deal for former Manchester United man David de Gea, who Los Blancos have held a longstanding interest in and who is now a free agent following his contract expiring at Old Trafford at the end of last season.