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Raul Jimenez: Mexico hopeful Wolves striker can make Olympics squad if returning to action from fractured skull

Raul Jimenez yet to play since fracturing skull in November; Wolves striker with Mexico squad for friendly against Wales on Saturday and joining training, except for contact drills; Mexico manager Gerardo Martino hoping Jimenez returns to Premier League action before this summer's Olympics

GETTY - Raul Jimenez has been training with Mexico this week but is still unable to join contact drills
Image: Raul Jimenez has been training with Mexico this week and wears a protective headband

Wolves striker Raul Jimenez is in "good shape" and could still make this summer's Olympic Games in Tokyo, says Mexico manager Gerardo Martino.

Jimenez has not played since he suffered a fractured skull in a sickening clash of heads with Arsenal defender David Luiz at the Emirates Stadium in November.

The 29-year-old has linked up with the Mexico squad ahead of Saturday's friendly with Wales in Cardiff, although he has guarded against a setback by wearing a protective headband during team drills and skipped contact training with the rest of Martino's men.

"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."

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Mexico are facing a busy spell with the CONCACAF Nations League, the Gold Cup, and 2022 World Cup qualifiers.

The Tokyo Olympics football tournament is scheduled to be held from July 21 to August 7 - just before the start of the 2021-22 Premier League season - and Martino confirmed that Jimenez is in his thoughts for that competition.

Raul Jimenez recently returned to training with Wolves
Image: Jimenez recently returned to training with Wolves but is still unable to join contact drills

He said: "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."

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