Nuno Espirito Santo is ‘totally confident’ Raul Jimenez will make his return for Wolverhampton Wanderers before the end of this season.
Jimenez, 29, hasn’t played since fracturing his skull in the victory over Arsenal in November but recently returned to light training.
The Mexican striker isn’t yet involved in any contact training, but he is stepping up his fitness work ahead of his planned return to action.
And Nuno believes that day is certain to arrive before Wolves’ season ends against Manchester United on May 23.
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Asked whether Jimenez will play again this season, Nuno replied: “(I am) totally confident. For sure.
“We have to be very aware of the circumstances and avoid any kind of contact. He has been able to participate in the initial part of the training sessions.
“Just him being with his teammates is a big help for him, and for us. We are following the right protocols with no rush, but we’re delighted Raul is getting better day by day.”
Here’s the latest injury and suspension news concerning Wolves’ players…
Yellow cards (PL only)
Ruben Neves – 5
Nelson Semedo – 4
Conor Coady – 4
Joao Moutinho – 4
Adama Traore – 3
Max Kilman – 3
Leander Dendoncker – 3
Pedro Neto – 3
Marcal – 2
Daniel Podence – 2
Fabio Silva – 2
Willy Boly – 1
Rui Patricio – 1
Owen Otasowie – 1
Ki-Jana Hoever – 1
Romain Saiss – 1
Premier League yellow card amnesties
Ten yellow cards no longer results in a two-match ban after 32 fixtures.
Injury: Fractured skull
Possible return date: N/A
Wolves’ all-time record goalscorer in the Premier League has been sidelined since fracturing his skull in the early stages of the 2-1 win at Arsenal in November.
The Mexican was operated on in a London hospital and returned home to his family after a week under medical supervision.
He’s since returned to Wolves’ training ground to socialise with his teammates and watched the draw against Spurs at Molineux on December 27.
Jimenez has already signalled his intention to return to football and has started doing some gym work and light jogging at Compton.
Nuno recently revealed his belief that Jimenez could even return before the end of the current campaign.
“We are truly positive that this can happen,” said Nuno. ”It’s very good news that he keeps improving day by day.
“Not only me, but all the medical staff (are positive) because he is improving on all the tests that we did previously, two seasons ago. He’s doing really well.”
Possible return date: Early March
The fixture schedule has clearly taken its toll on Boly’s hamstrings with this the Ivorian’s second muscular injury of the campaign.
Boly is now expected to be out of action for the next month, which comes as a significant blow to Wolves.
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Possible return date: Late March
Like Boly, Podence is also beginning his second period out in recent months.
“Unfortunately injuries are following me these times… now in the adductor,” Podence revealed in an Instagram post.
“I will recover very well and return at 150%. Always happy because I have more reasons to smile than cry. And supporting my team in the next 5/6 weeks thank you for supporting me.”
Possible return date: N/A
Marcal has suffered several injuries this season and only returned to action recently, but the Brazilian had to limp off just minutes after coming on in Wolves’ last game against Leeds United.