WOLVES striker Raul Jimenez could be blocked from representing Mexico at the Olympic Games later this year if he fails to return from his skull fracture before the end of the season.
Jimenez has not played since he was rushed to hospital after picking up the injury in a nasty clash of heads with Arsenal’s David Luiz back in November.
Jimenez was left with a fractured skull after his horror collision with LuizCredit: AFP
Jimenez is back in training but is having to wear a protective headbandCredit: Getty
The 29-year-old returned to training in February, but remains unable to engage in any sessions which involve physical contact and is having to wear a protective headband throughout.
Despite no clear return date so far being given by his club, Mexico boss Gerardo Martino revealed last week he was hopeful Jimenez would be eligible for selection for the Tokyo Games.
However, Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo does not see it the same way.
“The moment it is clear he can play for Wolves then anything can happen but, first, he must play for us,” he said.
“With all the respect to his national team coach it’s our decision.
“I understand he is positive and wants to count on Raul for the Olympics but we have to be patient here.
“We have to make the right decisions, not make any kind of mistake and respect the doctors.”
Jimenez was granted permission to link up with the Mexico national team during the international break, training with his fellow countrymen for their friendly against Wales in Cardiff.
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But he was not able to feature in the match as it is still not safe for him to do so.
That being said, Santo feels mentally it was a boost for Jimenez to go away on international duty, despite not being able to play.
“He was delighted to be there, it made sense, they protected him and he’s a more positive person,” the Wolves boss added.
“All his Mexican team mates have seen him, asked all the questions but each day he was better.”
Wolves are hoping Jimenez will soon be permitted to head the ball again as he continues his return to full fitness.
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