Everton confirm Lukaku injury 'not as bad as first thought'

The Belgium international was stretchered off following a collision with team-mate Gareth Barry, but has breathed a sigh of relief after further tests on an ankle injury
Everton have confirmed that striker Romelu Lukaku's ankle injury is not as bad as first thought, with the Belgium international expected to be out for weeks rather than months.

Lukaku was stretchered off during the Toffees' 4-0 defeat to Liverpool at Anfield after colliding with team-mate Gareth Barry as Steven Gerrard headed the opening goal for the Reds.

Speaking after the match manager Roberto Martinez said the injury "did not look good" and admitted he feared a long lay-off for the striker.

However, the club have now confirmed that Lukaku has escaped serious injury and should be in action sooner than first expected.

"There is no ligament damage and the injury is not as bad as we first thought," Martinez told the club's official website. "It will be a case of weeks rather than months."

The news will be a huge boost to Everton, particularly after losing left-back Bryan Oviedo to serious injury after he suffered a double leg fracture in the FA Cup victory over Stevenage.

Lukaku, meanwhile, who moved to Goodison Park on loan from Chelsea in the summer, is the club's top scorer this season with nine goals from 20 appearances.