As the saying according to Tom Petty goes: “the waiting is the hardest part.” Manchester United are in an agitated state of suspense awaiting a fitness update on their top-scorer Romelu Lukaku. The Red Devils will know their faith on Saturday when the team sharing their “Red Devils” nickname posts the team sheet for the World Cup Qualifier against Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Having already qualified for Russia 2018, the World Cup qualifier is a match with little meaning for the Belgians, and one that wouldn’t even feature Lukaku anyway, regardless of the Belgian star fitness level.
Tuesday saw the news that Lukaku missed training with the national team due to an ankle injury. However, a MRI scan revealed “no fracture on structural damager.”
It seems to be the same injury that he suffered in training with the club this past Friday, and it came very close to keeping him out of action the very next day.
Sources revealed to ESPN FC: “he needed pain-killing injections before he was passed fit to face Crystal Palace 24 hours later. At one point, Anthony Martial was put on alert that he would probably start instead.”
However, Lukaku ended up playing all 90 minutes and scored in the 86′ in the 4-0 rout of Crystal Palace. Since the weekend though the former Everton man has not trained with Belgium while on international duty with Belgium Manager Roberto Martinez saying that:
“Romelu has worked separately. We will make a decision about him on Friday, but I think it will be difficult, even though we continue to hope.”
“We will wait for as long as possible to make a decision, and we also keep in touch with Manchester United. They can be sure we will not push him too far.”
The latest updates show that there is a small chance Lukaku will be in action on Saturday, as Belgium have refused to rule him out as of yet. Manchester United would obviously like the Belgian to rest and recover as he’s extremely critical to their fortunes. The £250,000-a-week star has 11 goals in 10 games for Jose Mourinho’s side, and the Portuguese boss has recently made it clear that he cannot rest his former player at Chelsea much until Zlatan Ibrahimovic returns.
The boss latest comments on the situation via the Manchester Evening News:
“Belgium is Roberto’s responsibility and it’s his decision to play him or not to play him. I cannot, professionally speaking, say, ‘Do this or do that.’”
United’s next game is in nine days at arch-rival and fellow league title contender Liverpool.