Jose Mourinho provides fresh update on Romelu Lukaku’s availability after head injury

by Harry Robinson

Romelu Lukaku is set to be out for one week after picking up a head injury in Manchester United’s 0-0 draw with Southampton.

The Belgian was stretchered off in the first half at Old Trafford in Man United’s final game of 2017.

He was on the floor for around six minutes before being taken off, but manager Jose Mourinho told reporters before United’s clash against Everton on New Year’s Day that Lukaku was brought off, and will remain unused in matches, as a precaution.

“I would say a week,” Mourinho said. “It’s nothing really important – just a little protection, but no problem.”

Lukaku’s form in recent weeks has been mixed. His goalscoring contribution has significantly decreased since the start of the season, when he hit 11 goals in his first 10 games for United.

He had a month or so of truly terrible performances, with the 2-1 defeat to Manchester City being Lukaku’s worst display. His hold-up play since then has improved vastly.

United fans will hope his goalscoring becomes more frequent once more when he returns from this precautionary absence.

Head injuries are being treated more and more seriously now, with studies showing the significant potential damage of not doing so. Lukaku missed a return to Goodison Park on Monday, but could be back for the FA Cup Third Round against Derby County, too.

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