Thibaut Courtois Out of Leicester vs. Chelsea in FA Cup with Hamstring Injury

Gill Clark@@gillclarkyFeatured Columnist IMarch 18, 2018

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MARCH 14: A dejected Thibaut Courtois of Chelsea after Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona scored a goal to make it 3-0 during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 Second Leg match FC Barcelona and Chelsea FC at Camp Nou on March 14, 2018 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images)
Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois was ruled out of the Blues' FA Cup quarter-final with Leicester City on Sunday due to a hamstring injury.

The Belgium international was replaced by Willy Caballero, and manager Antonio Conte said Courtois had a "muscular injury," per BBC Sport (h/t Alex Young at the Evening Standard).

The 25-year-old picked up the injury in training but would not have featured in the FA Cup clash even if he had been fit, according to journalist Kristof Terreur:

Kristof Terreur 📰 @HLNinEngeland

Thibaut Courtois suffered a minor hamstring injury in training. Wouldn’t have played today anyway. #cfc https://t.co/jbBS3z3W1Q

Caballero is Courtois' back-up at Chelsea and has featured in every round of the FA Cup so far. The Argentinian has also conceded just one goal in four games, in their third-round replay against Norwich City.

However, Conte has said that he does not have a specific FA Cup goalkeeper and that he would have to choose between the two, as shown by Goal:

Goal UK @GoalUK

Will Conte drop Courtois for the cup? https://t.co/Ig4HRlygYC

Courtois has come under scrutiny after his performance in the 3-0 UEFA Champions League defeat to Barcelona on Wednesday. Two of Lionel Messi's goals went through the goalkeeper's legs as the Blues were knocked out of the tournament at the last-16 stage.

ESPN FC's Liam Twomey said the 'keeper was to blame:

Liam Twomey @liam_twomey

I've watched the goals back. For the first, Messi only looks up as if to cross & the gap he sneaks it through (with his 'weaker' foot) is ball-sized. Courtois clearly at fault but also undone by a genius #cfc

The Chelsea stopper spoke about the goals after the match and said Messi put the ball at his "weakest point," as shown by Football on BT Sport:

Football on BT Sport @btsportfootball

"You need to be a man, and show that you made a mistake." "For a goalkeeper like me between my legs is the weakest point." An honest Thibaut Courtois fronted up after the game... 🎤 @DesKellyBTS https://t.co/KMeke4BZVm

Vaishali Bhardwaj at the Evening Standard showed how Courtois was aiming to make amends:

Vaishali Bhardwaj @VaiBhardwaj

Thibaut Courtois told @sjstandardsport after the Barcelona game he'd be working hard in training to get himself back on track and, indeed, he was one of the last Chelsea players to leave Cobham today. #CFC

Courtois is widely considered to be one of the best goalkeepers in Europe, although he has not been consistently at his best this season. There has been plenty of speculation over his future, but he has said he is committed to Chelsea, per Indy Football:

Indy Football @IndyFootball

Thibaut Courtois: “I’m committed to Chelsea. I have a contract until next year and I will be here. I will do my best for it. Obviously there is no extension signed but I don't think now is the moment to do it. I think it is better to wait until the end of the season." https://t.co/i0MO31qmAs

The goalkeeper must now wait to make amends for his performance against Barcelona as the Premier League pauses for an international break. The Blues face a crucial game against Tottenham Hotspur next up in the top flight on April 1 and will be hoping Courtois is fit and available.


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