Araujo not 100 percent as he joins Mexico national team

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Kevin Jairaj
The Santos Laguna center back joined his teammates to celebrate their title win, but his El Tri status is still up in the air

Nestor Araujo will report to Mexico national team camp Monday but says he's still not totally fit.

The Santos Laguna center back suffered a knee injury while playing with the Mexico national team in a March friendly against Croatia. While the original timetable for recovery after undergoing surgery in Mexico City would've put him back in the playoffs, he wasn't in the Santos squad for either leg of the final.

He was present in Toluca to celebrate with his teammates Sunday night as Santos won its sixth Liga MX title, though, and said he's off to join the Mexico squad with hopes to play in next week's friendly match against Wales despite not being sure what manager Juan Carlos Osorio and the coaching staff will decide.

"I’m still not at 100 percent, but Monday I’ll talk with Juan Carlos and see what happens," Araujo said. Later, when congratulated for being the only Liga MX champion who would represent Santos in Russia, he said, "I'm not at the World Cup yet but we're hoping."

Araujo was injured in the same match as Mexico center back Carlos Salcedo, who made his return to the field and helped Eintracht Frankfurt win the German Cup this weekend.

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While the former Chivas defender is back on the field, Araujo is yet to be included in a squad. He looked on as Santos defended a one-goal lead for the last eight minutes of Sunday's second leg and was sweating out the end. Soon enough, Araujo was able to join his teammates to celebrate the title.

"I was really nervous, but now I’m enjoying it," he said. "I think the team deserved it."

Mexico will travel to the Los Angeles area this week ahead of a May 28 friendly match against Wales. After that there is a send-off match against Scotland on June 2 in Mexico City before Osorio has to trim the roster by five players on June 4. Araujo is one of the five injured players who Osorio is concerned about recovering in time for the tournament.

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