Football

Injured Courtois pulls out of Belgium squad

Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has withdrawn from the Belgium squad for their friendly against Saudi Arabia on Wednesday morning (Singapore time) due to a hamstring injury, the Belgian Football Association (RBFA) said yesterday.

The 25-year-old played in Chelsea's 3-0 defeat by Barcelona in the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie but missed the club's FA Cup win over Leicester City last week, with manager Antonio Conte saying Courtois had a muscle injury.

Courtois was called up by Belgium despite the problem but has failed to recover in time.

"Thibaut Courtois has not recovered from his hamstring injury and left the group... Get well soon, Thibaut!" the RBFA tweeted.

The RBFA said that Belgium coach Roberto Martinez is yet to decide on Courtois' replacement for the friendly, with Liverpool's Simon Mignolet likely to start.

Courtois's injury makes him doubtful for Chelsea's crucial English Premier League match against Tottenham Hotspur this Sunday as both teams battle to finish in the top four.

However, Sky Sports reported Martinez as saying that Courtois could be okay to play at the weekend against Tottenham.

With eight matches left, fifth-placed Chelsea are one spot and five points below Tottenham. - REUTERS

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