Belgium unlikely to risk Manchester United star Romelu Lukaku after ankle concerns

  • Roberto Martinez says the striker is unlikely to feature against Bosnia and Herzegovina.

  • But he may be recalled for Tuesday's clash against Cyprus.

United's Belgian duo carried knocks into the international breaks both both problems appear to be clearing up.Getty

Manchester United star Romelu Lukaku is unlikely to feature for Belgium in Saturday's (7 October) World Cup qualifier against Bosnia and Herzegovina on Saturday.

Lukaku, 24, underwent an MRI scan following an injury scare in the build-up to United's 4-0 win over Crystal Palace in their final match before the October international break. The Royal Belgian Football Association (KBVB) revealed earlier this week the scan had found no signs of a fracture and would place the striker on an individual training programme to ease any concerns.

Belgium have been in regular contact with United over the striker's progress, with Roberto Martinez now likely to omit the striker from the first of two World Cup qualifiers that are effectively dead rubbers, with the Red Devils having already secured qualification for next summer's competition in Russia.

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While his chances of featuring on Saturday are slim, Martinez may call upon his player for Tuesday's final group game against Cyprus.

"At the moment, Romelu is working separately, he hasn't joined the group since he arrived," Martinez told a press conference. "We need to be a little bit patient, I would say he is very uncertain for Saturday, we will make a decision probably on Friday. But I would say it is little difficult for him to be involved Saturday but we are still hopeful he can be involved on Tuesday."

While Belgium have already secured their place in next summer's competition, two wins in their final two qualifiers will guarantee them a place in the first pot for December's World Cup group stage draw.

But United might be quietly hoping their big-money signing sits out of both games, with a trip to Anfield to take on arch-rivals Liverpool looming immediately after the international break on Saturday 14 September.

Lukaku's compatriot Marouane Fellaini has also sat out of training this week, still feeling the effects of an Achilles injury picked up following a nasty challenge from Southampton's Shane Long on 23 September.

The former Everton midfielder sat out of last week's Champions League win over CSKA Moscow with that knock, but returned to the starting XI against Palace, scoring twice in that 4-0 win.

Despite needing further treatment on his ankle at the start of the week, Martinez now believes Fellaini has recovered and is ready for Saturday's qualifier.

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"Marouane is doing well, for the last 24 hours he feels very strong," the Belgium boss said. "Today [Thursday] he has been well trained separately from the group. He will be ready [for the match against Bosnia]."

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