Mexico striker Raul Jimenez is set to return to the pitch for the first time since the end of August in a pre-World Cup friendly against Sweden, said manager Gerardo “Tata” Martino.
Jimenez, who has been largely sidelined for Wolverhampton Wanderers this season, was named in Mexico’s roster for the showpiece event in Qatar despite only recently recovering from a groin injury that he picked up at the start of September.
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“We made the decision based on the progress that Raul Jimenez was making,” Martino told reporters. “We just needed to know how he reacted in competitive training, and the response was very good and surely tomorrow he will have minutes against Sweden.”
Jimenez and his Mexico teammates will take on Sweden at the Estadi Montilivi in Girona, Spain, this Wednesday, after beating Iraq 4-0 in their penultimate friendly before Qatar.
In between the two games, Mexico’s preliminary World Cup squad was whittled down from 30 players to the final 26, ultimately leaving out Santiago Gimenez, Erick Sanchez, Diego Lainez and Jesus Angulo.
“To the four [that were dropped], a deep thank you,” Martino added on Tuesday.
Mexico travels to Qatar on Thursday, and will stay just north of Doha at the Hotel Simaisma during the tournament. El Tri begin Group C play against Poland on Nov. 22 before facing Argentina and Saudi Arabia.
Winger Jesus “Tecatito” Corona was cut from the roster on Nov. 8 after being unable to recover in time following surgery on a fractured fibula he sustained in August while training with club side Sevilla.