yes. unquestionably prep your friend in as mild a way as possible. "if it comes up, buddy, you and I stayed out a little later than you thought" no details if you can avoid it but better a prepped friend thinking you like Me Time or strip clubs than caught in that moment of silence where no answer will save you.
I've been there. The one time I let my guard down and did not prep a buddy, sure enough, he runs into the gf and I've got some 'splaining to do for the rest of the week. never again.