Mexico boss Gerardo Martino reveals Wolves star Raul Jimenez is in ‘good shape’ and could still make Tokyo Olympics as he recovers from broken skull
- Wool window Raul Jimenez is in ‘good shape’ and could still make Olympics
- The striker hasn’t played since he suffered a skull fracture in November
- He has joined the Mexican squad ahead of Saturday’s friendly with Wales
Wolves attacker Raul Jimenez is in ‘good shape’ and could make it to the Olympic Games in Tokyo this summer, says Mexico manager Gerardo Martino.
Jimenez hasn’t played since he suffered a skull fracture in a sickening head clash with Arsenal defender David Luiz at Emirates Stadium in November.
But the 29-year-old has joined the Mexican squad ahead of Saturday’s friendly with Wales in Cardiff, although he has protected himself from a setback by wearing a protective headband during team drills and skipping contact training with the rest of Martino’s men .
Wolf attacker Raul Jimenez is in ‘good shape’ and could still make it to the Olympics
Jimenez hasn’t played since he suffered a skull fracture in a sickening incident in November
“Raul is good,” said Martino. ‘He trains normally with us, except for contact training. He does not do that.
‘If there are some physical contact drills, let’s train him separately with another member of the technical staff.
In terms of how he’s progressing, we’re sticking to the protocols the Wolves team has given us.
‘He has not yet started contact training at his club, and we follow him medically and train on the field. We certainly respond to what his team wants in its training. ‘
Mexico faces a busy period with the CONCACAF Nations League, the Gold Cup and 2022 World Cup qualifiers.
The 29-year-old has joined the Mexican squad ahead of Saturday’s friendly with Wales
The Tokyo Olympics football tournament is scheduled for July 21 to August 7 – just before the start of the 2021-22 Premier League season – and Martino confirmed that Jimenez is on his mind for that competition.
He said: ‘I think we need to see when his club decides to play him, when he gets the final green light from doctors.
“ If Raul can’t play by the end of the season, I think that means we’re much less likely to have him available.
‘If he does that, there will be a lot more time to look forward to the Gold Cup and the Olympics and to be available for those games.
“But of course it all depends on what happens at Wolves in the next 50 days.”
He wore a protective headband during team exercises and skipped contact training
Mexico is unbeaten in 10 games, winning nine of them since their last defeat to Argentina in September 2019.
Napoli forward Hirving Lozano, Porto forward Jesus Corona and Atletico Madrid midfielder Hector Herrera headline Mexican acts during Jimenez’s absence.
“We have a duty to look at all the players I can use,” Martino said of the exhibition game at Cardiff City Stadium.
‘It is likely that (Gareth) Bale and (Daniel) James will not play because they have an important game against Belgium and another against the Czech Republic on the way.
“As this is the mid game for Wales, I think the players involved in the last game will get some rest and we will see some other players.”