Courtois can return next week: Madrid coach Ancelotti

<a class="link " href="" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Real Madrid;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Real Madrid</a>'s Belgian goalkeeper <a class="link " href="" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Thibaut Courtois;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Thibaut Courtois</a> has missed the season injured but is close to making his return (PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU)

Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti said Thursday that injured goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois could return from injury as soon as next week.

The Belgian international has missed the entire season with a knee ligament injury and suffered a further setback in March which required another knee operation.

Real Madrid face Bayern Munich in the Champions League semi-finals on Tuesday and then Cadiz in La Liga on the following Saturday.

"He's well, I think he will be available to travel with us next week (to Munich) and he can play against Cadiz," Ancelotti told a news conference.

Andriy Lunin has won Ancelotti's trust as Madrid's goalkeeper in recent months, ahead of Kepa Arrizabalaga, on loan from Chelsea.

Ukrainian stopper Lunin saved two penalties against Manchester City last week to help Real Madrid reach the Champions League semi-finals.

The coach did not include Jude Bellingham in the squad to face Real Sociedad on Friday in La Liga, with Ancelotti explaining the England international had a "stomach problem".

Madrid boast an 11-point lead at the top of the table ahead of Barcelona, who confirmed this week that coach Xavi Hernandez will stay at the club next season.

Xavi had declared in January he would leave this summer.

"Xavi has done a very good job at Barcelona," said Ancelotti.

"He knows the club very well, it seems to me to be the right decision that he stays."