Manchester United face an anxious wait to discover if Romelu Lukaku will be fit for the FA Cup final against Chelsea on Saturday with the club concerned by the Belgians slower-than-expected recovery from an ankle injury, Metro.co.uk can reveal.
Lukaku limped out of Uniteds 2-1 win against Arsenal in late April after taking a knock to his ankle and United had been confident that he would make a swift recovery after scans revealed there had been no ligament damage.
The striker opted to undergo his rehabilitation in Brussels and has been working with Belgiums medical department in a desperate bid to return in time for the game at Wembley.
Jose Mourinho ruled Lukaku out of the remainder of the Premier League season as a precautionary measure so the striker can focus on regaining his fitness but the forward is behind schedule in his recovery.
Metro.co.uk understands Lukaku only restarted jogging a few days ago and his rehabilitation programme has been strictly non-contact through fear of exasperating the problem.
United initially expected Lukaku to return in time for the end of the Premier League season but the 25-year-old opted to stay an extra week in Belgium to continue his rehab.
The Belgian is expected back in Manchester on Tuesday when United will assess the striker and determine whether hes ready to re-join the squad for first-team training.
Mourinho had remained coy on Lukakus injury until Thursday when he admitted for the first time after Uniteds 0-0 draw with West Ham that the striker may have to settle for a place on the bench against Chelsea.
He is in Belgium having his treatment in the communication between the doctors in Belgium and our medical department and we are just waiting to see if it is possible for him to be involved in the final, said Mourinho.
If not starting at least he can be on the bench.
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Mourinho started Alexis Sanchez up front against West Ham last week with one eye on the possibility that Lukaku may not be ready in time to face Chelsea.
Marcus Rashford started and scored against Watford on the final day of the Premier League season and the England international is likely to battle Sanchez for a central role in the absence of Lukaku.
Anthony Martial missed the game against the Hornets because of a knee injury and Mourinho admitted afterwards that the Frenchman is a doubt for the final.