Belgium manager Roberto Martinez confirms a decision will be made on Inter striker Romelu Lukaku by Thursday. ‘If he can return by December 1, then he’ll be in the World Cup squad.’
The centre-forward, who is on loan from Chelsea, has barely featured this season due to a thigh injury that he struggled to recover from.
He made his comeback after two months out, promptly scored, and then suffered a relapse.
“At the moment, he is not able to play, it’s in the hands of the medical staff,” Martinez told L’Equipe newspaper.
“The decision will be made this Thursday, just before we announce the list of 26. If he is able to participate in one of the three group games, then he is a player we need in our squad.
“If he can return by December 1, then he’ll be in the World Cup squad. If not, then he won’t be participating in the tournament.”
Belgium are in the group with Canada, Morocco and Croatia, with that final game played on December 1.
The 29-year-old has 68 goals in 102 senior caps for Belgium, while he scored two goals and provided one assist in only five competitive games for Inter this season.
Lukaku had already missed most of the Nations League games over the summer with an ankle injury.
He sustained the thigh strain during a training session with Inter on August 29 and since then has made only two substitute appearances against Sampdoria and Viktoria Plzen.