The return of Raul Jimenez to Compton Park this week has brough a huge lift to the Wolves squad ahead of this weekend’s West Midlands derby with Aston Villa, according to Nuno Espirito Santo.
The Mexican striker was guest of honour at the training ground as he was greeted with hugs and smiles after reuniting with teammates for the first time since sustaining his traumatic head injury.
Nuno was delighted to see his star striker once again and spoke about how there is no time frame on Jimenez’s return to football but did say that the number nine has a desire inside him to play once again.
On Raul returning to Compton Park
“It was a very happy moment. It was very good for his teammates that they were able to see him. He was good, smiling, recovering well.
“It was a huge moment for everybody to be with Raul again. He’s ok, he’s recovering well, he’s positive and starting to get ready again.
“It means a lot after that situation to see him, to hug him, to see him smile and to see him progress. It’s very good for everybody and just to see him come back is fantastic.”
I don’t think that he’s talking about it, but I’m sure that he’s feeling it. He has this desire inside him that he wants to return, and this is the most important step – he wants it.
On bringing positivity to the squad
“It was a big lift for everybody involved. We saw how bad the situation that happened was, and to see him smiling was a big lift for everybody.
“For his teammates, a huge lift, because they see someone that had a serious situation recovering and he’s on his way back to being the same person that he was.
“He was totally normal. His teammates are friends and they are curious. They asked him questions like, ‘How are you feeling? Do you remember? How are you now?’
“But he’s ok, he’s the same Raul – smiling, positive, and it’s so good to have him. We’re having normal conversations, we already spoke about the team and how we see it, so he’s ok.”
On Raul’s motivation to return to the pitch
“In this situation, we don’t have a timetable. We have to follow the protocols, but mainly it’s about getting him healthy again. There’s no rush, we have time.
“I don’t think that he’s talking about it, but I’m sure that he’s feeling it. He has this desire inside him that he wants to return, and this is the most important step – he wants it.
“He will be given time, but he wants to return. Raul is a player who needs to be inside of the pitch; he’s so talented, so good, and so important for us. I know in his mind is this will to return.