By Efosa Taiwo

Romelu Lukaku will not be fit on time to make it for Belgium’s first two group games as he continues to battle fitness issues.

The striker has been battling a thigh injury picked up in training in August.

Though the former Chelsea striker managed a 22 minutes return against Sampdoria in October, he got a relapse of his injury.

He then returned to action in style in October, scoring in a 4-0 win against Viktoria Plzen that ensured Inter’s passage to the last 16 of the Champions League but injured his hamstring again a few days later.

The striker is lacking in match fitness as he races against time to be certified fit to contribute to Belgium’s World Cup campaign.

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Belgium kick-off their tournament on Wednesday with a clash against Canada at Al Rayyan stadium, while they have also been drawn in a group with Morocco and Croatia in Group H.

Reports from the Belgian press via Calciomercato.com confirmed Lukaku is out of the games against Canada and Morocco while he is expected to be back against Croatia.

Martinez, however, has options with Leandro Trossard and Michy Batshuayi two options to do a good job in the absence of Lukaku.

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