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Tata hopeful Jimenez returns during PL season, available for Olympics

As friendlies against Jamaica and Northern Ireland loom, the PST crew discusses which Americans have the most to prove, from Christian Pulisic finding his form to the emergence of a non-John Brooks center back.

Gerardo “Tata” Martino remains hopeful that Raul Jimenez will return to Premier League action for Wolverhampton Wanderers this season, thus paving the way for Mexico’s star striker to compete in the Gold Cup and Olympic Games (as an overage player) this summer.

[ WATCH: Sergiño Dest opens USMNT account with tremendous goal ]

Jimenez, who has been out of action since fracturing his skull in a terrifying head-to-head collision with Arsenal’s David Luiz on Nov. 29, is currently in camp with the Mexican national team ahead of El Tri‘s friendlies against Wales and Costa Rica. Martino echoed the sentiments of Nuno Espirito Santo, Jimenez’s manager at Wolves, revealing that the 29-year-old is involved in parts of training sessions, though he remains uninvolved in contact training — quotes from our partners at Sky Sports:

“Raul is good. 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.”

“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.

[ USMNT: Berhalter: No Pulisic injury; Dest-Pulisic on left “difficult to handle” ]

With the CONCACAF Nations League, Gold Cup and Olympics all on the very near horizon for Mexico, Raul Jimenez will have ample opportunity to play his way back to full fitness ahead of the 2021-22 Premier League season, provided he is cleared to return to game action in the coming weeks or months.

Follow @AndyEdMLS