Raul Jimenez: Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo was 'afraid' for striker after head injury

Wolves forward Raul Jimenez underwent an operation for a fractured skull following a clash of heads with Arsenal defender David Luiz during last weekend's Premier League game; Wolves face champions Liverpool on Sunday

Raul Jimenez 2:15
Raul Jimenez is 'recovering well' from his surgery on a fractured skull, says Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo

Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo admits he was afraid for Raul Jimenez after the striker suffered a fractured skull.

The Mexico international needed surgery after a clash of heads with David Luiz in Sunday's 2-1 win at Arsenal.

Jimenez remains in hospital but is expected to be discharged next week with club doctor Matt Perry describing his initial progress as excellent.

Nuno said: "It was very serious and everyone was afraid, everyone was worried. As the days go by and, knowing he is being taken good care of, we have been able to return to a normal situation.

 Wolverhampton Wanderers manager Nuno Espirito Santo greets his player Raul Jimenez
Image: Nuno says it's too early to think about when Jimenez might return to action

"Now we have to stick together and all our thoughts and prayers go to Raul.

"Everything goes through your mind, you see someone you really love in a tough situation. You are worried, first of all because we all love Raul and he means so much to us, it's like someone in the family."

Nuno and Wolves have been keen to underline the severity of the injury but he is hopeful Jimenez will return.

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"Now if you ask me personally, put aside my wish and my desire, I want him and I am positive he's going to come back," he said.

"He's going to come back. What the medical team did was amazing - both teams, Arsenal's and ours. This is why we trust them and we thank them so much.

Wolves striker Raul Jimenez
Image: Nuno says he is feeling 'positive' about Jimenez's recovery

"This is what the doctor insists to me - first days are crucial. He was really well taken care of on the pitch and during the journey in the ambulance.

"There was not even a moment when he was not being given oxygen so this is what determines the next steps to take. Now he is recovering.

"Now our real concern is that he recovers totally. After that we will have time.

"On these situations, it has to do a lot with the evolution of the player, how he feels, but now I'm positive because the first days are so important."

David Luiz receives treatment from physio Jordan Reece for a head injury during 0:37
Nuno Espirito Santo and Carlo Ancelotti both back the introduction of concussion substitutes in the Premier League

Nuno was already supporting plans to introduce concussion substitutes before Jimenez's injury and believes it has unanimous backing.

He added: "I think it makes sense and I know there are conversations. I speak on a daily basis with Dr Matt Perry and something is going to happen naturally.

"I have no doubts that everyone involved in the game - players, managers, referees and fans - are supportive of the concussion substitution. No doubt about it.

"I think everybody involved in the game is supportive of the concussion substitution because it's something serious."

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Ryan Mason, who had to retire due to a head injury in 2017, says football's current concussion protocols are insufficient and in need of an urgent review

Wolves go to Liverpool on Sunday without Jimenez but Romain Saiss has returned to training after recovering from coronavirus.

They will face former striker Diogo Jota, after his £45m switch to Anfield in September, who has scored nine goals in his first 15 appearances for the Premier League champions.

Nuno said: "We are proud and happy Diogo is doing well. He is a fantastic player and a fantastic boy. We shared so many things which will never be forgotten.

"Now he is at Liverpool, he is at the right place and now he is an opponent for us.

"We know his characteristics but we are going to face Liverpool so we have to be aware of their qualities, Diogo plus all the other talented players Liverpool have."

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