Wolverhampton Wanderers striker Raul Jimenez has stated that he will step aside from the Mexico national team if he does not recover in time for the World Cup.
The Mexican striker has only played four Premier League games due to recurring fitness issues. His constant injuries have forced the club to sign Diego Costa, who was a free agent after leaving his last club, Atlético Mineiro in the Brazil Serie A.
Jimenez is a key player for El Tri and is in the side's provisional squad list ahead of the final announcement which is expected in the coming days. However, his niggling knee and groin injuries are recovering slower than expected and it is putting some pressure on Mexico manager Gerardo Martino, who is banking on his star striker's fitness for a successful outing in Qatar.
The Wolves man is aware of this fact and has nobly stated that he would step aside if his recovery does not go as planned. He, however, hopes that he can be ready in time for Mexico's World Cup opener against Poland on November 22.
"I am working with the ball, separated from the group, but I am already warming up with the team and I can do various things," Jimenez said to ESPN Mexico.
"I'm not ready to compete yet. Physically I feel good, even though it's been (more than) two months since my last match.
"The squad list is due on Nov. 14. If I don't feel up to it by then, that's as far as it goes and I wish the team the best of luck."
Jimenez's absence would leave Mexico without two of their active top scorers, as Martino did not include Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez in his provisional squad list. This would mean the lesser known Feyenoord Rotterdam striker, Santiago Gimenez, could get the opportunity to shine for El Tri in Qatar.
In the Dutch Eredivisie, Gimenez is still settling in after signing for the club in the summer. In the UEFA Europa League, however, the 21-year-old Argentine-born Mexico striker is the joint top scorer with four goals in six games.
Martino is hopeful that Jimenez can be available for the team's friendlies against Iraq on November 9 and Sweden on November 16 before they travel to Qatar and attempt to finally put their World Cup woes behind them.