Belfast Telegraph

Romelu Lukaku could be back for Manchester United against Derby

Romelu Lukaku could feature for Manchester United against Derby in the FA Cup on Friday, less than a week after he was taken off on a stretcher with a head injury.

United's top scorer Lukaku, who has netted 15 times this season, had played every minute in the Premier League before his enforced withdrawal against Southampton on Saturday due a clash of heads with Wesley Hoedt.

That ruled Lukaku out of Monday's victory over his former club Everton, though boss Jose Mourinho has revealed the Belgian striker was keen to be involved regardless.

Having initially thought the 24-year-old would miss Friday night's third-round tie with Derby too, Mourinho now thinks Lukaku could be available to him.

"Romelu is not a problem," he said after the 2-0 win over the Toffees.

"Maybe Romelu can play (against Derby). It was precaution by the doctor, it was following the rules to protect the situation but Romelu was in the dressing room, never lost memory, he knew what happened.

"He didn't come today to follow the protocol but he wanted to play. We had to stop him to play because he was saying, 'I feel amazing, I should go and play' but to follow the protocol and also to protect the player, we decided not to play (him).

"Probably Romelu (is) back (against Derby)."

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