Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has publicly reassured supporters that a minor eye issue will not force him to miss any time. The 24-year-old is currently away on international duty with Belgium, where he was rested in favour of Liverpool counterpart Simon Mignolet on Wednesday night (9 November) as a late deflected goal from Yannick Carrasco cancelled out Davy Klaassen's first-half penalty in a 1-1 friendly draw with the Netherlands.
Courtois, who recently confirmed that he had no summer contract with either Real or Atletico Madrid amid rumours over a possible return to La Liga, was pictured on the away bench by television cameras sporting a very bloodshot left eye. That left The Sun to speculate that he may be set for a spell on the sidelines, although the player himself has now revealed that it is something he has been dealing with for a fortnight and did not impact upon his performance in recent victories over Southampton and Everton.
"Everything's OK with my eye," he informed his 1.58m followers on Twitter. "[I've] had it for two weeks and [it[ doesn't effect my goalkeeping."
Courtois has kept seven consecutive clean sheets for club and country since mid-September and will be expected to return to action on Sunday (13 November) as Group H leaders Belgium welcome Estonia to the King Baudouin Stadium in Brussels for their latest 2018 World Cup qualifier.
He will also retain his place after the international break when Antonio Conte's in-form Chelsea side, now second behind Liverpool after initially rising to the summit of the Premier League with a stylish 5-0 thrashing of Everton, look to register a sixth consecutive top-flight win without conceding against newly-promoted Middlesbrough.
Of more concern in Amsterdam was the fitness of Vincent Kompany. The Manchester City captain has been limited to just four appearances so far this season after being hampered by more injury problems and fears over yet another setback grew last night when he was pulled from Belgium's starting XI after the warm-up and replaced by Christian Kabasele. Such worries are understandable given his recent history, although Red Devils boss Roberto Martinez insists that he is not injured.
"There is no injury to Vincent Kompany," he was quoted as saying by Sky Sports. "We did not want to take any risks with him and Kompany did not feel well after the warm-up. I want every player to be 100 per cent. I would be surprised if he can play Sunday, but it is still too early to say. We will have to assess the situation, especially with his club. If he is not ready, I will take another defender."
One English-based player who did suffer an injury at the Amsterdam Arena was Vincent Janssen. Tottenham Hotspur's Dutch forward sustained a concussion and, according to manager Danny Blind, lost 20 minutes of his memory after being accidentally clattered by Mignolet.