Everton forward Romelu Lukaku has not travelled with his team to Dubai after suffering a calf injury. The Belgian international, who is the Premier League's top scorer with 16 goals along with Arsenal talisman Alexis Sanchez, will visit a doctor in Belgium to receive treatment on the knock, which Everton deem to be minor.
Ronald Koeman has decided to take his squad to the United Arab Emirates for a few days in order to make the most of their free weekend. The Toffees arrived in Dubai on Monday (13 February) evening and will play a friendly on Friday before returning home at the end of the week.
The Dutchman has had to make the trip without two of his best attackers, however; long-term injury victim Yannick Bolasie has also not travelled along with Lukaku as he bids to recover from a serious knee problem suffered in Everton's 1-1 draw with Manchester United in December.
Young forward Dominic Calvert-Lewin, who has been sidelined for a number of weeks with an ankle problem, has joined the squad on their warm-weather excursion and is close to a return to action while Bosnian international Muhamed Besic is also part of the travelling contingent.
It is not known how or when Lukaku sustained his injury – he completed the full 90 minutes on Saturday as his side played out a goalless draw with struggling Middlesbrough – but Everton do not think it is serious and expect the powerful forward to be available for when they host David Moyes' Sunderland on February 25.
Everton boss Koeman will hope the former Anderlecht starlet, who is close to signing a new long-term deal at Goodison Park, will be available for the visit of the Wearsiders as he is not exactly blessed with an embarrassment of attacking riches. West Ham United loanee Enner Valencia and forgotten man Arouna Kone are the only viable candidates to replace Lukaku should he fail to recover as expected.