Raul Jimenez set to learn if he can play again for Wolves this season

The striker’s absence has had a big effect on Wolves’ campaign

Ian Parker
Friday 07 May 2021 15:44
comments

Raul Jimenez will see a specialist on May 18 to see if he has a chance of playing again for Wolves this season.

The Mexican suffered a fractured skull in the win over Arsenal in late November. Although he has returned to training in recent weeks, Jimenez has not yet had clearance to resume heading the ball.

If that comes later this month, it is possible the 30-year-old could play some role - if not against Everton on May 19 then in the season finale against Manchester United four days later.

“We are hopeful this can happen,” Nuno said. “Raul will see the specialist on the 18th and from there on we will know exactly what we need to do.

“We need clearance from the specialist. Until then he is working and he is totally fit. We still have precautions on him heading the ball and this kind of contact but the 18th is an important day to move forward and make the right decisions.”

Jimenez had scored four goals in 10 Premier League appearances this season prior to his injury, as well as three in four for Mexico, and his attacking threat has been hugely missed by Wolves in a season when they have been unable to get into the fight for Europe taking place above them in the table.

Monday’s draw with relegation-battling West Brom was a considerable improvement on the 4-0 home loss to Burnley which preceded it, but Nuno wants to see more on Sunday when they face a Brighton side whose own survival is all but assured.

With little left to play for this campaign, Nuno fielded a number of youngsters in Monday’s match - with 18-year-old striker Fabio Silva scoring his fourth Premier League goal - but would not be drawn on whether he wants to use the remaining four games to give fringe players more playing time.

“It is an opportunity for everybody as a squad,” he said. “We have four games to go that must be and should be very useful to us in terms of how we compete and how we approach the games.”

Joao Moutinho, 34, could feature at the weekend, having been out since mid-April with an ankle injury, but one player not yet ready to return is Willy Boly after concerns were raised over a higher than usual heart rate on his return from self-isolation.

The 30-year-old contracted Covid-19 in early April, but though he returned to play against Sheffield United and Burnley, Boly was missing against West Brom while the situation was checked out.

“He’s much better,” said Nuno, who indicated Boly could face Tottenham next weekend. “He had problems with fatigue and he’s been infected. He’s getting better. He has been able to join part of the session.

“There was a lot of concern because we didn’t know what was happening but now we can be a bit more relaxed and aware that he needs a couple of days more to come back to total fitness.”

PA

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments