MEXICO CITY (AP)Javier ”Chicharito” Hernandez will not be going to the World Cup in Qatar after he was left out of Mexico’s preliminary roster on Wednesday, with coach Gerardo Martino opting to include injured duo Raul Jimenez and Jesus Corona instead.

Martino had insisted he would wait as long as possible to announce his selection in order to give Jimenez and Corona time to recover, and both were part of a 31-man roster that will later be winnowed down to 26 for next month World Cup in Qatar.

Despite the fact that two of his key attacking players are currently injured, Martino decided to exclude Hernandez, the former Manchester United striker who now plays for the Los Angeles Galaxy. The Argentine coach had hinted at that decision ahead of a couple of September friendlies, saying ”we are simply going with other forwards.”

Hernandez has played in three World Cups and is Mexico’s all-time leading scorer with 52 goals. The 34-year-old forward hasn’t featured for Mexico since a friendly in 2019. According to media reports, Hernandez’s absence is due to disciplinary issues.

Jimenez has a groin injury that has limited his playing time with Wolverhampton in the Premier League. He hasn’t played since August and has only featured in three league games this season. Corona tore ligaments in his left ankle in August during training with Spanish club Sevilla and continues in his rehabilitation.

Jimenez has been continuing his rehabilitation in Mexico City in recent weeks.

”We have a great team headed by Gerardo Martino and an extraordinary group of players,” said Yon de Luisa, head of the Mexican Soccer Federation. ”I have no doubt that this team will leave its mark on the World Cup.”

Mexico will open Group C against Poland on Nov. 22. Next up is Lionel Messi and Argentina on Nov. 26 before a game against Saudi Arabia on Nov. 30.

Mexico squad:

Goalkeepers: Guillermo Ochoa (America), Alfredo Talavera (Juarez), Rodolfo Cota (Leon)

Defenders: Jesus Angulo (Tigres), Jorge Sanchez (Ajax), Nestor Araujo (America), Hector Moreno (Monterrey), Cesar Montes (Monterrey), Jesus Gallardo (Monterrey), Gerardo Arteaga (Genk), Kevin Alvarez (Pachuca), Johan Vazquez (Cremonese)

Midfielders: Andres Guardado (Real Betis), Jesus Corona (Sevilla), Edson Alvarez (Ajax), Erick Gutierrez (PSV Eindhoven), Hector Herrera (Houston Dynamo), Roberto Alvarado (Chivas), Luis Chavez (Pachuca), Uriel Antuna (Cruz Azul), Diego Lainez (Bragal), Orbelin Pineda (AEK Athens), Carlos Rodriguez, (Cruz Azul), Luis Romo (Monterrey), Erick Sanchez (Pachuca)

Forwards: Hirving Lozano (Napoli), Alexis Vega (Chivas), Rogelio Funes Mori (Monterrey), Henry Martin (America), Santiago Gimenez (Feyenoord).

AP World Cup coverage: and