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Santo warns there are "a lot of boxes to tick" over Raul Jimenez return

Santo warns there are
© Reuters
Raul Jimenez has been sidelined since fracturing his skull against Arsenal in late November and met with a specialist and a club doctor on Tuesday.

Wolves head coach Nuno Espirito Santo warned there are still "a lot of boxes to tick" before Raul Jimenez can resume his playing career.

Jimenez has been sidelined since fracturing his skull against Arsenal in late November but, as Nuno was holding a press conference ahead of Wednesday's trip to Everton, the striker was meeting with a specialist and a club doctor.

However, even if Jimenez is given clearance, Nuno insisted the situation is more complex as he gave an insight into what is needed before the Mexican makes a playing comeback, which seems increasingly unlikely to come this season.

"As we speak he's in a meeting with the specialist and our doctor," Nuno said. "Hopefully we'll have positive news and from there we'll decide and see what is the best decision to make and how he is going to be involved.

"We have a lot of boxes to tick. There's a lot of things that after today we have to look and decide. He has to do an MRI, a scan, psychological tests, he has to first start impacting the ball with the head after all these things.

"There's still a lot of things we must consider before we decide on Raul. The meeting is now, when we have all the information, we will sit down and carefully look at what to do and how to do it."

Jimenez has been Wolves' leading scorer in the last two seasons, finding the back of the net in the Premier League on 13 then 17 occasions, while he had bagged four goals in 10 appearances in this campaign prior to his injury.

While Wolves have missed his attacking threat this term, with the club set for their lowest finish since being promoted back to the top flight three years ago, Nuno is relieved Jimenez is inching closer to a full recovery.

"It makes me very happy, honestly," Nuno added.

"After all that we've been through, especially Raul and his family, to see him so much closer to playing again is really good news after what happened and what it meant for everybody."

Nuno, who hopes Daniel Podence will be fully fit for the start of next season after the Portugal winger had an operation on his injured groin on Monday, is relishing the thought of fans being back at stadiums.

Up to 6,500 supporters will return to Goodison Park for Everton's final home match of the season, while Wolves are set to welcome around 4,500 at Molineux for their last game of the campaign against Manchester United on Sunday.

"It's huge," Nuno said. "Finally, finally, finally, we're going to have Everton fans then we're going to have our own fans at Molineux.

"It's a big, big, big moment for everybody, the returning of fans is the best thing that can happen to the game and it looks like it's going to happen. Hopefully next season is going to be better than ever."

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