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Nuno: Mexico star Raul Jimenez must return for Wolves before heading to Olympics

The striker has been out since November after fracturing his skull.

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Raul Jimenez fractured his skull in November (Jan Kruger/PA)

Raul Jimenez fractured his skull in November (Jan Kruger/PA)

Raul Jimenez fractured his skull in November (Jan Kruger/PA)

Nuno Espirito Santo insists Raul Jimenez cannot be considered for the Olympics unless he plays for Wolves first.

Mexico boss Gerardo Martino is eager to take the striker to the delayed Tokyo Games in the summer if he is fit.

Jimenez is still recovering from the fractured skull he suffered against Arsenal in November but is in light training with Wolves.

He linked up with Mexico during the international break as he returns to fitness but Nuno believes Jimenez needs to play before the end of the season to be in contention for the Olympics.

The Molineux boss said: “I think he must join us, the moment it is clear he can play for Wolves then anything can happen but, first, he must play for us.

“With all the respect to the 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 afford any kind of mistake and respect the doctors.

“He was delighted to be there (on international duty), it made sense, they protected him and he’s a more positive person. All his Mexican team-mates have seen him, asked all the questions but they saw a good Raul and each day he was better.”

Wolves host West Ham in the Premier League on Monday with Rui Patricio available after being knocked out in a collision with Conor Coady in last month’s 1-0 defeat by Liverpool.

Nuno added: “In that moment it was scary, everyone was worried, he had to stay being assessed and was with the doctors and that made him not go to Portugal.

“He has trained well this week. Every time there is a situation like that, especially for us as we have trauma from before, it’s scary.”

Joao Moutinho is a doubt after picking up a problem while on international duty with Portugal but Daniel Podence is back in training following a groin issue.

PA


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