Raul Jimenez: Wolves striker will return from injury soon but club will be cautious, says Nuno Espirito Santo

Nuno Espirito Santo says Wolves remain cautious over Raul Jimenez’s return date as the Mexico striker waits on his next scan results.

Jimenez fractured his skull during a 2-1 victory at Arsenal on November 29 and has not played since.

The 29-year-old returned to training last month, although he has not taken part in contact sessions and has yet to receive clearance to start heading balls again.

“Everybody sees he’s improving a lot and is almost ready to go,” Wolves head coach Nuno said ahead of Sunday’s Premier League home game against Burnley.

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“We just expect now the next exam and the next decision of the surgeon and our own medical department.

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“It will be soon, I think, and hopefully it will be better (news) because it keeps improving. Then Raul and myself have to sit down and create a new plan.

“Everything looked (like) he was joining us soon, but he still has to wait and be patient.

“The main issue is still the bone, we expected that, and that’s why we don’t allow him to head the ball.

“He still trains with his protection and we have to be careful because it’s about the bone.”

Jimenez, who joined up with the Mexico squad last month for friendlies with Wales and Costa Rica, has worn a tailor-made headguard since his return to training.

Former Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech wore a headguard after suffering a fractured skull against Reading in 2006.

“It’s different to Petr Cech but it protects the part of the brain that is required,” Nuno said of Jimenez’s own head protection.

“He feels very comfortable with that and, as long as we have the clearance, he will be able to head the ball with that protection.

“Hopefully we will have clearance soon.”

On whether Jimenez could return before the end of the season, Nuno said: “I can not answer that.

“We are all positive, this is what we want the most. It’s our desire to see things happen.

“We have had to go step by step. The first step was to see that he was OK and he’s fine, fantastic, and is improving.

“The second step was to integrate himself in the training sessions and he’s doing very well.

“The third step is the clearance for him to head the ball. When that moment comes he will be ready for it.”

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