Belgium head coach Roberto Martinez has revealed that he will offer enough time to Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku to prove his fitness.
Lukaku didn’t start the FA Cup final on 19 May after sustaining an ankle injury during the 2-1 win over Arsenal at Old Trafford on 29 April.
However, the Belgian, who is expected to be fully fit for the World Cup, will be given the time to prove his fitness before the manager selects his final squad.
“We have to use the rules to our advantage. We are going to be preparing for Portugal, the European champions, and then on June 4 we will announce the final list of 23 players,” Martinez told reporters.
“This week we will work with every player individually to give them the best possible chance to be involved in the 23-man squad. Then as a group, we will start the preparation we need to do with the group going to Russia.”
“The idea was always to try to reduce the group to 23 from day one. But now that has changed because of the needs of certain players to give them an extra period of time to prove their fitness.”
“At the moment we are open-minded with the 28 players, we will work in the same manner with everyone and then make the decision just after the Portugal game. I think that is the best way to do it from our point of view in the circumstances we have.”
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Belgium are in Group G of the tournament where they will be alongside England, Panama and Tunisia.
The Red Devils will start the campaign on 18 June taking on Panama at the Fisht Olympic Stadium.