THERE was a very welcome sight for the start of Wolves’ pre-season training this week as Raul Jimenez returned to work.
The striker, 30, suffered a horrific fractured skull back in November during a game with Arsenal.
Having briefly lost consciousness, he received oxygen on the Emirates Stadium pitch before undergoing surgery at a major trauma centre.
Not only did Jimenez miss the rest of the 2020-21 season, he was also unable to fully train with the squad until this week.
The Mexican returned for a small number of group workouts in February but Wolves were sure to be cautious with his recovery.
And it was not until May that he was given the green light to restart full contact training.
Jimenez therefore had to wait until this week to step up preparations for his playing return, with the start of pre-season at Compton Park.
Wolves released pictures of the player working with his protective headguard, which he is set to wear for the rest of his career.
Molineux hero John Richards, who hit 194 goals for the club, has stated his confidence that Jimenez’s return will drive on the team.
He told the Express and Star: “I just think he’s going to give the team, the club and the fans a massive boost.
“He’s such a quality player and even if he’s only operating at 90 or 95 per cent to start off with, he’s still really going to make an impact.
“The pre-season build-up will be really helpful to him in terms of getting back to match fitness, at the level he was before.
“But it’s an exciting time. He’s had all the best medical advice, and he’ll know full well he is able to come back.”
New Wolves boss Bruno Lage took charge of his new side for the first time this week, and called up a number of the Under-23s squad to his workouts.
Crewe await in their first pre-season game on July 17 before games with Real Betis, Stoke, Coventry and Celta Vigo.
⚽ Read our Football live blog for the very latest news from around the grounds