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Thibaut Courtois played while his father was hospitalised over the holiday period

Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Thibaut Courtois didn't just have to deal with the pressure of playing in a brace of big Premier League matches during the holiday season. Despite his father being hospitalised with a torn blood vessel in his brain, the young Belgian played against both West Ham and Southampton and didn't really miss a beat. Thierry Courtois will be fine, although he might be recovering for as long as six months:

I was taken to hospital on Christmas Eve after problems keeping my balance. Doctors found a tear in the wall of a vein. Part of my brain had been denied blood for some time. They acted swiftly to dissect a blood vessel in my neck. I have to thank them for their care.

-Thierry Courtois. Source: Mail.

It's tempting to talk about the younger Courtois' bravery in playing despite his father's situation, but I think I'll pass on that and just hope that the Courtois family is doing ok despite this setback. Health problems in the family are horrendous at any time of year, but they'd be even worse during the holiday period, and I'm sure that the rest of the Chelsea family joins me in wishing Thierry Courtois a full and quick recovery.

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