Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo has hailed the ‘amazing’ progress made by Raul Jimenez as he continues to recover from a sickening head injury.
Jimenez, 29, was knocked unconscious after a clash of heads with Arsenal’s David Luiz on November 29 last year. He was stretchered off after five minutes and rushed to hospital, where X-rays revealed a fractured skull.
The Mexico international underwent surgery and it was thought that he had no chance of playing again this season. Details are still sketchy as to a possible return date.
“He’s doing good,” he said. “We had consultation and the results are amazing, so gradually he will progress, but it’s too soon to predict an exact moment.
“He’s working by himself, but with a good intensity in his training sessions, so we are really positive and delighted that everything’s going to be OK.”
Jimenez has been a revelation since moving to Molineux from Benfica in the summer of 2018. An initial one-year loan spell was replaced with a permanent deal.
And he has rewarded the West Midlanders with 48 goals from 110 appearances in all competitions. Four of those had come in the Premier League this season before injury struck.
Wolves have struggled in his absence. They have won just two league games since losing Jimenez. But, with a 12-point cushion to the bottom three, there should be no issues with relegation this term.
Jimenez to follow Cech example?
Wolves are desperate to have the forward back in the ranks. They have scored just 23 league goals in 2020-2021. There are many issues surrounding the player’s return, however.
The way that heading the ball could cause long-term brain problems has recently been in the news. The nature of Jimenez’s injury means caution will have to be taken.
There is an option of wearing headgear similar to that worn by former Chelsea and Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech. Nuno admits that all options are on the table and it will be a case of watch and see.
“[Wearing head protection] that’s not been discussed,” he added. “It’s in everybody’s heads, but until that moment, we still have a lot of procedures to follow, trainings to do, and then we will assess that situation.
“Hopefully it will not be required, but it’s there, it could be a solution, but not for now. We’re not thinking about that.”
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