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September 12, 2015

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Courtois out with long-term injury

CHELSEA’S troubled start to its Premier League title defense suffered a fresh blow yesterday when it emerged that goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois required knee surgery.

Sources close to the player who has a torn meniscus in his right knee expect the Belgian star to be sidelined for between 10 and 12 weeks.

Courtois returned from international duty after playing in Belgium’s 1-0 win over Cyprus last Sunday, only to suffer the injury on Wednesday.

“Everybody came back well from the national teams but Courtois was injured in a training session and I cannot tell you much but I can tell you he needs surgery in his right knee and as a consequence he will be out for quite a long time,” manager Jose Mourinho said.

“I cannot be more specific about the injury and the time he will be out. I just know he will be out for some time.”

Mourinho, however, expressed full faith in 8 million pound (US$12.4 million) signing Asmir Begovic to replace him.

“It’s a big blow but you will not see me speaking again about Thibaut. He’s injured.

“It’s not easy to have the best goalkeeper in the world injured. But it’s easy to have one of the best goalkeepers in the world to play. Begovic is very, very good. I’m sad for Thibaut and sad for the team but we have a top goalkeeper and Begovic will be in goal.”

The injury only adds to Chelsea’s concerns ahead of a trip to Goodison Park that is already underscored by flashpoints and controversies. Mourinho’s side has only four points from four games, the second worst start by a team defending the Premier League title, and faces Everton whose manager Roberto Martinez and owner Bill Kenwright have been publicly critical of Chelsea’s unsuccessful pursuit of defender John Stones.

Club owner Roman Abramovich was also seen at the Cobham training ground, but Mourinho was reluctant to reveal what they were to discuss.

“I don’t have to tell you.”


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