Wolves' Nuno optimistic Jimenez will return this season

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Premier League - Liverpool v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Anfield, Liverpool, Britain - December 6, 2020 Wolverhampton Wanderers' Ruben Neves wearing a shirt in support of injured teammate Raul Jimenez during the warm up before the match Pool via REUTERS/Jon Super

(Reuters) - Wolverhampton Wanderers manager Nuno Espirito Santo said he was surprised by the speed of progress Raul Jimenez has made from surgery on a fractured skull and is confident the Mexican striker can return to action before the end of the season.

Jimenez, 29, was injured after a clash of heads with Arsenal defender David Luiz in November. He received lengthy treatment on the pitch before being rushed to hospital.

Asked if Jimenez could feature again this season, Nuno told reporters: "We are truly positive that this can happen. It's very good news the way he keeps improving day by day.

"Not only me but all the medical staff are surprised because he's improving on all the concussion tests that we did previously two seasons ago."

Despite his importance to the side, Nuno said Wolves would not rush him back into action.

"What we want is Raul healthy and we will get him back as an important player for the team," he added. "But we have to be really patient and take the right decisions ... We will not rush or take any kind of risks."

Wolves, who are 14th with 22 points from 19 games, face Chelsea later on Wednesday.

(Reporting by Arvind Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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