Belgium boss Roberto Martinez has confirmed that Romelu Lukaku has recovered completely from an ankle injury that left him out of last weekend’s 4-3 win over Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The 24-year-old, who has claimed 11 goals in ten games at Manchester United this season, picked up a knock against Crystal Palace that precluded him from training last week.
He posted a photo of himself over the weekend in good spirits following a session with ‘Move to Cure’ – a rehabilitation centre for elite Belgian athletes.
And Martinez, speaking ahead of the clash with Cyprus on Tuesday night, confirmed that Lukaku was fit to start and added he hadn’t received any calls from Jose Mourinho.
“The reason that he wasn’t in the squad in the previous game was because he wasn’t 100 per cent. Now he is 100 per cent but we need to take into consideration that he has been with the group for only one [training] session.”
The former Wigan Athletic and Everton boss shouldn’t need a phone call from Mourinho to know that starting Lukaku in this game makes no sense whatsoever.
Perhaps as United fans we are going slightly overboard with the prospect of more players suffering injury. Martinez’s decision to pick Marouane Fellaini against Bosnia was not wrong per se; it was, above anything, the poor playing surface that caused problems.
That said, losing both Lukaku and Fellaini – arguably Mourinho’s most important goal threats in recent weeks – to injury ahead of the trip to Liverpool would be cataclysmic.
Mourinho needs to pick up the phone sooner rather than later.