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Mexico coach Gerardo Martino to wait until ‘last minute’ for injured Raul Jimenez and Jesus Corona

Mexico men’s national team coach Gerardo “Tata” Martino has said he will be patient with injured stars Raul Jimenez and Jesus “Tecatito” Corona in the hope they can make the World Cup squad.

“The only ones who are going to get us to the last minute are Jesus [‘Tecatito’ Corona] and Raul [Jimenez]. When the medical staff asked me by when [we can wait]I told them that on November 16,” Martino said during a press conference ahead of Tuesday’s friendly against Colombia at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California.

“But those who are not among the 26 players [World Cup list]He will not go to Girona [for the final two friendlies in Spain this November].”

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Corona is recovering with LaLiga club Sevilla after sustaining a broken fibula this summer that initially saw him ruled out of the World Cup. Earlier last week, Martino stated that they will reassess his injury in early October.

Jimenez left Mexico’s camp on Sunday and returned to Wolves after being unavailable in last Saturday’s 1-0 win over Peru at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. During a media day last week, Martino noted that Jimenez’s injury was more serious than he thought, stressing: “I never thought we would get into this situation.”

Along with other injuries and the addition of new players to Mexico’s structure, Martino admitted an “injustice” would be done in picking his final World Cup squad.

“There is an injustice I will be committing by sending the list,” Mexico’s coach said on Monday. “[Inside the squad] it creates a lot of suffering, a lot of sadness, and there will be a terrible mess outside.”

Martino also believes the emergence of new players competing for World Cup spots has been one of the positives of his managerial career El Tri which started in 2019.

“If you compare the squad [the 2018 World Cup in] Russia and the current one, hardly anyone is still there,” said Martino.

However, the manager was vague when asked about managing these players going forward, mentioning that “it’s not up to me” for his post-Qatar role and that he is only focused on the World Cup.

Looking ahead to Tuesday’s friendly against Colombia, Jimenez and Corona will not be the only players missing for Mexico.

Houston Dynamo player-designate Hector Herrera, Ajax’s Jorge Sanchez and Monterrey duo Rogelio Funes Mori and Luis Romo, all of whom left the national team’s camp to return to their clubs early on Sunday, featured for the previous game against Peru not available.

More players should get a chance against Colombia this Tuesday and according to Martino at least half of the starting XI will be different from last Saturday.

Speaking of options on the bench, the Mexico coach noted that Chivas striker Alexis Vega has “very good chances” of playing, but has doubts about Feyenoord’s up-and-coming Santiago Gimenez, who is under investigation with a shoulder injury.

After September’s World Cup friendlies in California, two final clashes ahead of Qatar are scheduled for Mexico against Iraq on November 9 and against Sweden on November 16, both of which will take place in Spain at the Estadi Montilivi in ​​Girona.

Then at the World Cup El Tri will face Poland (Nov. 22), Saudi Arabia (Nov. 26) and Argentina (Nov. 30) in the group stage.

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