Marouane Fellaini has been excluded from Belgium’s squad for upcoming friendlies to allow him to rest after returning from injury recently.
The Belgium boss Roberto Martinez confirmed Fellaini’s exclusion was a “medical decision”.
The 27-year-old had been out of action for Manchester United since the October international break but returned as a second-half substitute against Chelsea in the Reds’ 1-0 loss at Stamford Bridge.
He looked fairly rusty after a few weeks out, having had just a day of training previously.
“He needs a proper 10 days work with no game in order for him to be fully fit,” Martinez said.
“Medically it is the right choice to allow Marouane to get fit. If it had been a competitive game I think we would have called him up because maybe for the second game he could have been on the pitch.
“This is a period where we can afford not to risk him until he is 100 per cent.”
Too often international managers and teams sacrifice the well-being of their players by calling them up when injured or by playing them twice in the space of three or four days despite the wishes of their clubs. That hasn’t been the case here, and it’s excellent to see.
Fellaini does need a proper spell of recovery, and he has been afforded that by Belgium who know their World Cup warm-up friendlies against Mexico and Japan don’t mean enough to force the midfielder back early.
As long as Fellaini doesn’t pick up a freak training ground injury, he’ll be back for when United face Newcastle United at home after the international break.