Belgium boss offers update amid Hazard injury concerns

Date published: Tuesday 12th June 2018 6:55 - Ian Watson

Belgium manager Roberto Martinez has played down injury fears over Eden Hazard after the Chelsea player limped out of Monday’s 4-1 friendly win over Costa Rica.

Hazard, Belgium’s captain, hobbled off in the 70th minute after taking a blow to the foot, but Martinez says the injury is not serious.

“Eden is okay, he had a little trouble, but it’s nothing to worry about,” Martinez said in his post-match press conference.

“I really enjoyed his performance. He was sharp and strong, he was majestic.

“At the end he just came off because he had a little bit of a dead leg, a little bit of a knock on his leg.”

The injury to Hazard overshadowed what was a positive evening for Belgium before they head off to Russia.

Romelu Lukaku was the star of the show, highlighting what a threat he will be to England when they meet in what should be a Group G decider on June 28.

The Manchester United man scored two and made one as Belgium came from behind to beat their Central American opponents, who led through Bryan Ruiz.

Dries Mertens equalised before Lukaku struck either side of half-time to take his tally to 13 goals in the last nine international games.

He then laid on a fourth for Chelsea’s Michy Batshuayi.

Lukaku also allayed any fears that Hazard’s injury might be serious, telling Belgian TV: “He took a direct hit, as often. He came out as a precaution.”

The Red Devils are on an 18-match unbeaten run ahead of their Group G opener with Panama next Monday.

And Lukaku can only see his side getting better.

He said: “I think we have made progress. We did not lose, it’s important. We scored a lot of goals tonight.

“We will still progress before the match against Panama and we will give 120 per cent against them. We will continue to make progress later.”

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