“I think after a defeat it’s not right to go into this situation,” he said. Courtois had an injury during the week and then for this reason he wasn’t available.” Conte’s vagueness regarding the injury could be because of embarrassment as according to the Telegraph, Courtois injured his ankle while filming a promotional basketball shoot on Tuesday.
To add insult to injury, it occurred at Chelsea’s Cobham training ground as the club filmed the video as part of its commercial duties with the National Basketball Association. The 6’6 Courtois, along with teammates Nathan Ake, Asmir Begovic, Marcos Alonso, and Nemanja Matic also took part in the promotional video. Courtois reportedly landed awkwardly on his ankle while playing. Alonso also ended up missing the match, although that was due to a virus.
The article raises questions to why players, especially key starters are asked to potentially risk injury for commercial activities in the middle of a title race. Chelsea are currently four points above Tottenham, after a pair of losses to United and Crystal Palace whittled down what was a double-digit gap at one point. This is not the first time Courtois has done promotional work with the NBA as while on Chelsea’s preseason tour of the US, he practiced with the Minnesota Timberwolves.