Romelu Lukaku Injury: Updates on Everton Star's Back and Return

Tim DanielsFeatured Columnist

Everton's Romelu Lukaku during the English Premier League soccer match between Newcastle United and Everton at St James' Park, Newcastle, England, Saturday, Dec. 26, 2015. (AP Photo/Scott Heppell)
Scott Heppell/Associated Press

Everton striker Romelu Lukaku was forced to exit the Feb. 3 Premier League match against Newcastle United due to a back injury. It is uncertain when he will be able to return to first-team action.

Continue for updates.

Martinez Provides Latest on Lukaku's Training Status

Friday, Feb. 5

"Romelu has shown improvement with his back injury. We hope he can join training today," Everton boss Roberto Martinez said, ahead of his side's trip to Stoke City.

Lukaku Serves as Focal Point of Everton Strike Force

Lukaku plays a vital role as the Toffees' main target in attack. His combination of size, power and finishing ability makes him one of the Premier League's most dangerous forwards, which is why losing him for any period of time represents a major setback for the club.

He's remained durable for the most part since his rise began during a loan stay with West Bromwich Albion in 2012-13. The ailments he's dealt with have been of the minor variety, and that's held true this term. He missed a little bit of action with an ankle issue in early January, though.

If the Belgium international is forced out of the lineup going forward, Arouna Kone figures to get the first crack at the starting role, while forward Oumar Niasse was signed from Lokomotiv Moscow in January

Of course, the Everton attack couldn't be expected to produce at nearly the same rate without Lukaku. That's worrisome for a side that's endured some defensive woes this season.