Romelu Lukaku will not return for Inter before World Cup

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Romelu Lukaku will not play again for Inter before going to the World Cup with Belgium, Simone Inzaghi has confirmed.

Lukaku's return to San Siro on loan this season has been disrupted by injury.

The Chelsea striker has been limited to just 255 minutes of action across five appearances in all competitions, starting three matches and scoring once.

Lukaku made his comeback from a thigh problem against Viktoria Plzen late last month but was quickly ruled out again.

Coach Inzaghi was initially hopeful Inter would see Lukaku before the Serie A season breaks for the World Cup, but he has now accepted defeat.

The Nerazzurri play Juventus on Sunday, then both Bologna and Atalanta next week.

Lukaku will hope to feature when Belgium begin their Qatar 2022 campaign against Canada on November 23.

Speaking ahead of the Derby d'Italia, Inzaghi said: "We will be without him, without [Danilo] D'Ambrosio and with [Alessandro] Bastoni to evaluate because he had a fever.

"It is normal for a coach to want to have all his weapons, but we know that playing so much there are difficulties in organising with all the team.

"Lukaku will do another test next week; unlike last time, I can say that I don't think he will be there for the last game.

"I'm sorry, because he worked so hard to be there. We will wait for him after the break, because we know he can give us a great hand."

Inter are sixth in Serie A and Juve eighth heading into Sunday's game, but Inzaghi does not believe their title hopes are on the line.

"We know how much it matters, but we also know that there are 25 games to go," he said. "In a week, there will be a break for the World Cup, and then there will be more than one round.

"We know how important it is, but also how long there is until the end. Tomorrow is very important for both [teams], yes."