Ancelotti faces GK headache as Courtois to return vs. Cádiz

Carlo Ancelotti has refused to speculate on whether Thibaut Courtois could play in a possible Champions League final, saying “we’ll see” after confirming that the goalkeeper will start for Real Madrid in LaLiga on Saturday.

Courtois, 31, has been unavailable all season after suffering an ACL tear last August, and Ancelotti said the Belgium international would finally return to the side against Cádiz at the Bernabéu.

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Back-up Andriy Lunin has impressed in Courtois’ absence — with the best save percentage in LaLiga, among goalkeepers who’ve played 10 or more games — and Ancelotti said the Ukraine international would keep his place for next week’s Champions League semifinal second leg against Bayern Munich.

“Thibaut is fine, he’ll play tomorrow,” Ancelotti said in a news conference. That’s very good news for us… He’s very excited, all of us are delighted that he’s back.”

Ancelotti wouldn’t discuss whether Courtois might compete with Lunin for a spot in the Champions League final at Wembley on June 1, if Madrid progress after drawing their semifinal first leg with Bayern 2-2 this week.

“The final we have in our heads is Wednesday’s against Bayern,” Ancelotti said. “Lunin will play. Then, we’ll see.”

Madrid have suffered three long-term ACL injuries this season, with defenders Éder Militão and David Alaba also affected. Militão — who suffered the injury last August, like Courtois — first returned to action as a substitute on March 31, but still isn’t a regular starter.

“You want to know if Courtois could play the final, right?” Ancelotti said, when asked if the two injuries could be compared. “We aren’t thinking about that. Our final is on Wednesday. We aren’t thinking about what could happen in a month… let’s hope we can think about it, because it would mean we get to the final.

“What a player of that level lacks is the reading of the game, on the pitch. That’s different for a goalkeeper. Each player needs his time to adapt.”

Madrid could clinch the LaLiga title on Saturday if they beat Cádiz and rivals Barcelona fail to beat Girona, but Ancelotti said there were no plans for the team to celebrate with a parade.

“We haven’t thought about that because we haven’t won anything yet,” he said. “We’ll think about celebrations when we’re mathematically certain.”