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When will Chicharito play for Chivas? Javier Hernández injury update

Chivas fans are eager to see the Mexican forward’s return but head coach Fernando Gago has made clear that he will not rush his recovery.

Chicharito's injury rehabilitation progressing well
Francisco GuascoEFE

Chivas Guadalajara have been busy in the transfer market, making two exciting additions to their attacking options. Cade Cowell has had an immediate impact since his move from MLS side San Jose Earthquakes, but it’s another signing that has made headlines for Rojiblancos fans.

After an illustrious career that took him to Manchester United and Real Madrid, Mexican striker Javier Hernández, better known as Chicharito, is back at the club where it all started.

But while his return was announced last month he has been unable to feature for Chivas. He suffered an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) rupture last year and is expected to be out until March. Chicharito will not feature against FC Juárez on Saturday but, after eight months out, he could be fit to play in the coming weeks.

Fernando Gago committed to giving Chicharito time

Guadalajara’s newly-appointed coach, Fernando Gago, has urged for patience from those eager to see Chicharito back in the team. Now 35, the Mexican arrives from a three-year spell with LA Galaxy, for whom he boasted an impressive one-in-two scoring record.

He suffered the ACL injury in a US Open Cup game against Real Salt Lake in June 2023 and did not feature again for the Galaxy. Given his advancing years, Gago is unwilling to push for Hernández to return too soon.

“Regarding Javier, let’s be very honest - don’t put more pressure on him than he already has. Let him be, and he will recover well. When he’s ready, it will be his decision and the coaching staff’s. Let’s not set a deadline because that’s the worst thing that can cross his mind,” Gago said.

“He’s in a very good rehabilitation process, but he still has a way to go,” the Argentine coach continued. “Of course, we need him, we need him training, in the squad, as he was today. There are a lot of positive things, not just seeing him play.”

Cowell makes bright start to life with Chivas

Gago’s team take on Juàrez off the back of a good run of form across different competitions. Chivas have won their last three games across Liga MX and the CONCACAF Champions League game against Forge.

Hernández may be absent but Cowell, the other recent arrival, has hit the ground running. He scored a brace and contributed an assist in the 3-1 win over Forge. Gago was full of praise for the USMNT youngster after the game.

“It is obviously important for him because he is a boy who has recently arrived, who needs to adapt to the team. He comes without doing a preseason, we were already started [so] it’s important for him,” he said.

Cowell is expected to start again against Juárez and could enjoy more success against the struggling visitors. Juárez are winless in their first five Liga MX fixtures of 2023 and are planted to the bottom of the table as it stands.