Champions LeagueIt wasn’t the applause he had in mind. An examination on Thursday or Friday should show if there is any damage to the ligaments in the ankle. Romelu Lukaku (28) has other concerns than goal drought. After a strong tackle he trespassed on Malmo to the side. “Big Room” is in breach for an indefinite period of time.
processing And the damage done.
Big Room floundered on the floor. Shouted. Grass slapped his hand. Romelu Lukaku knew right away it was serious. The pain was unbearable. Repetition explained why. After a strong intervention from Malmö defender Nielsen in the penalty area, his right foot got stuck under the buttocks of the Dane. Full weight on him – greater impact than Paulinha on De Bruyne’s ankle joint in the European Championships against Portugal.
Chelsea’s doctor checked the stability of his ankle. Lukaku shook his head, “No.” The physiotherapist rubbed the outside again with a miracle sponge. Lukaku shook his head again. While waiting for his replacement, he struggled for some time – Jorginho converted the penalty kick forced by Lukaku.
Lukaku stood limping aside to loud applause. It wasn’t the applause he was expecting, sometime twenty minutes later. Make the sign of the cross. There was a short meeting on the sidelines of the match with coach Thomas Tuchel. Not many words were exchanged. Lukaku told his coach that he had severely sprained his ankle.
He climbed the stairs into the tunnel with some annoyance, but he did so under his own strength, without support. It does not appear to be the most serious ankle injury, but the examination will have to determine if there is active ligament damage on Thursday or Friday. And for how long is it effectively marginalized. In any case, the period of inactivity is uncomfortable. Six matches without goals becomes seven. This is important in his stats.
“Romelo has a sprained ankle. He will be out for a while,” Tuchel said at the press conference.
There are no fifteen lines in Lukaku’s top-level injury resume. Sturdy frame. For 620 games in 13 seasons as a professional, there are about 165 days of inactivity and 25 games he missed due to serious injuries. Good record of the player with his constitution. Few muscle injuries, not much skeletal damage. His longest stint on the sidelines was a month: at Everton with an ankle ligament damage, at Manchester United with a torn hamstring.
Despite the physical and mental ‘exhaustion’ that Tuchel suggested during his press conference on Tuesday, Lukaku was just taking off against Malmo. A game against a lower team to boost confidence. He started well and passionate, but after twenty minutes his match was over.
To make matters worse, Tuchel saw his second striker, Timo Werner, go out with a hamstring injury before the break. He will likely have to improvise against Norwich this weekend. The chance of Lukaku being fit in time even with minor damage is minimal. They will not risk it. The Red Devils won’t meet until mid-November in their last international World Cup qualifier.
Chelsea won 4-0 after goals from Christensen, Jorginho (2x) and Haverts.
Watch also. Mulder and Degres on Lukaku: “Obvious injury, but how bad is it?”
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