'Need to be patient' with Romelu Lukaku, says Belgium boss Roberto Martinez

The Belgium international has been in fine form for club and country but Martinez has promised not to rush him back.

Romelu Lukaku
Romelu Lukaku has been in fine form for club and country this season Reuters

Belgium national team manager Roberto Martinez has played down injury fears over Romelu Lukaku – but has promised Jose Mourinho he will not rush him back.

The Belgium striker has an ankle problem which he picked up in training with Manchester United before Saturday's 4-0 win over Crystal Palace – a game he played in and scored.

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Lukaku, 24, has not been training with his country and is unlikely to play in Saturday's World Cup qualifier in Bosnia. But Martinez still hopes his hitman will be available for Tuesday's home game with Cyprus, even though Belgium have already qualified for Russia, although he will not risk him unless he is fully fit, as reported by the Sun.

The Manchester United striker underwent scans by Belgium's medical staff on Monday after reporting for international duty with an ankle injury, but while tests showed no fracture or structural damage, the player has continued to train separately from the main group.

The Belgium boss said: "Romelu is working separately. He hasn't joined the group yet since he arrived. We need to be a little bit patient.

"For me, I see that it is a bit difficult for him to be involved on Saturday, but we are still hopeful that he can be involved on Tuesday. He wants to play but he hasn't been able to train with the group and it is important that he gets his ankle fully recovered," Martinez said, as reported by the Telegraph.

"It's a period of season that is really, really busy. It is a situation that he brought from his club level and they are very much aware.

"We need to be careful that we don't rush him into anything. But we hope he is going to be fully fit very, very soon."

Martinez is similarly keen to involve Marouane Fellaini, even though the United midfielder has also been training away from the main squad. Fellaini scored twice in United's 4-0 victory over Crystal Palace last Saturday, despite a sore ankle that has continued to require treatment, but there appears to be little prospect of him being rested.

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