Mexico coach Gerardo Martino has suggested that Wolverhampton Wanderers striker Raul Jimenez could be selected to represent his country at the Tokyo Olympics this summer, as he continues his recovery from a serious head injury.
The 29-year-old has been training with the Mexico national team in Wales this week, although he will not be picked for any of their matches against the Dragons or Costa Rica.
However, Mexico coach Martino is happy with the progress Jimenez is making in training, and has assured that the medical staff are ‘adhering to the protocols’ in place from Wolves, as reported by Sky Sports.
“Raul is good,” Martino said. “He’s training normally with us, apart from contact training. He’s not doing that.
“When there are some physical contact training exercises, we get him training separately with another member of the coaching staff. In terms of how he’s progressing, we are adhering to the protocols the Wolves team have given us.
“He hasn’t yet started to engage in contact training at his club, and we are monitoring him medically and training on the pitch. We are certainly responding to what his team wants in his training.”
And Martino even discussed the possibility of Jimenez returning to international duty ahead of the Tokyo Olympics, and believes that if the forward is back on the pitch for Wolves before the end of the season, then there’s no reason why he can’t travel to represent his country.
“I think we need to see when his club will decide to play him, when he gets the green light from doctors definitively.
“If Raul doesn’t get back playing towards the end of the season, I think that means we have much less of a chance of having him available.
“If he does, there is a lot more time looking forward to the Gold Cup and the Olympic Games and him being available for those games.
“But of course it all depends on what happens at Wolves in the coming 50 days.”
Jimenez hasn’t featured since requiring emergency surgery after suffering a fractured skull against Arsenal in November, an injury which many feared could have ended his career.
But he has bounced back from the sickening clash impressively, so much so that Wolves coach Nuno Espirito Santo saw no issue in him training with his country this week.
“I think it will be good for [Raul Jimenez] to join the Mexico squad to see his friends because it’s a big part of his life, many of his friends are there,” said Santo.