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Raul Jimenez given all-clear to ‘play a full part’ for Wolves next season

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Wolves striker Raul Jimenez has been given the all-clear to continue preparing for a return to action next season.

The 30-year-old Mexican fractured his skull and suffered a brain injury in a sickening collision during Wolves’ win against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium last November.

Wolves club doctor Matt Perry said in a statement on the club’s official website: “Further match-based rehabilitation will start in July and will be tightly controlled initially. This respects the fact that although his recovery appears to be total there is a big step from training to competition.

“We hope and expect that Raul will be able to play a full part in Wolves’ 2021/22 season.”

Jimenez received on-field treatment for 10 minutes and was carried off on a stretcher after an accidental clash of heads with Arsenal defender David Luiz.

The Mexico international, who returned to full training in March, was given oxygen on the pitch before being taken to St Mary’s Hospital Paddington, where he had emergency surgery for a major traumatic brain injury (TBI) and skull fracture.

Dr Perry said: “His skull fracture has now healed well; he will wear a protective headguard to cover the area of bony injury for the remainder of his career, but it is adjudged strong enough for him to return to play with this protection.

“A brain injury such as concussion can take weeks and months to recover fully and TBI will sometimes leave lasting deficits. It is wonderful to be able to say that Raul has made a remarkable and excellent recovery to date.

“He has no measurable signs of deficit and is now at the stage when he can contemplate a return to the career he loves; but a degree of caution is still required.”

Wolves signed Jimenez for £30million from Benfica in August 2019 after an initial season-long loan and he signed a new four-year deal in October.

He has scored 48 goals in a total of 110 appearances for the club in all competitions, netting four times in nine Premier League appearances this season before his injury.

Dr Perry added: “Raul has been able to progress from basic fitness work into full competitive training from early March; only holding back on powered heading and aerial duels. He has now received the all-clear to start these activities and is physically as fit, strong and agile as ever.

“We are hugely grateful to Professor Tony Belli and Miss Sophie Camp with their guidance and advice on his management, and Miss Camp and her colleagues at St Mary’s for the life and career-saving surgery in the few hours that followed Raul’s initial injury.”

PA

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