By Will Butcher
Romelu Lukaku has been left behind by Everton as the rest of the squad jets off to Dubai to attend a mid-season training camp.
The 23-year-old is instead set to travel to a doctor in his home country of Belgium for treatment for a calf problem.
However, Everton’s official website has said Lukaku will be fit to face Sunderland in the Toffees’ next game on February 25.
Attending the training camp in Dubai are youngsters Matthew Pennington, Jonjoe Kenny and Dominic Calvert-Lewin, while long-term injury absentee Muhamed Besic also travels.
Fans will be desperate to see their number 10 return to full fitness ahead of their next outing against ex-manager David Moyes, after a bout of wonderful form that has fired the Toffees to seventh place in the Premier League.
The former Chelsea striker has scored a prolific 17 goals in 26 league and cup outings for the Merseyside outfit, with the Mirror claiming his old side remain interested in setting up a return to Stamford Bridge.
Since his move to Goodison Park after a successful loan spell, Lukaku has scored 62 goals in 120 league and cup appearances while being a permanent Everton player.
Football Insider verdict:
Manager Ronald Koeman will be sweating on the fitness of his star player as Lukaku continues to inspire the Toffees by providing their goal threat this season. Although he has missed just two games this season, Everton failed to win in either against Tottenham and Norwich. The Toffees have no real alternative to their goal machine, with West Ham loanee Enner Valencia struggling to maintain any kind of consistent form and Ademola Lookman still adapting to the rigours of the Premier League. Lukaku, then, must be kept in cotton wool to keep him firing for the rest of the campaign. Everton’s season depends on it.
In other Everton news, Tony Cottee believes securing this playmaker deal is key to Everton’s future successes.