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Wolves striker Raul Jimenez ready for return to pitch

Star striker Raul Jimenez is set to make his long-awaited return to Wolves first-team action this weekend after an eight-month injury lay-off.

Raul Jimenez (Photo: Wolves/Getty)
Raul Jimenez (Photo: Wolves/Getty)

The 30-year-old has been missing since November when he suffered a horrific fractured skull injury in a collision with Arsenal’s David Luiz.

Surgery and months of rehabilitation followed before former manager Nuno Espirito Santo announced he hoped the forward would return before the end of the season.

Eventually he did miss out, but last week returned to full training as Wolves got their pre-season preparations under way.

He will have to wear protective headgear for the remainder of his career, but he is now finally set to make his return to action when Wolves travel to face Crewe on Saturday.

The number of minutes he manages, however, remains to be seen after such a long lay-off.

The clash will be the team’s first pre-season friendly and boss Bruno Lage’s first game in charge.

New signing Francisco Trincao is also set for his first minutes in an old gold shirt after his season-long loan signing from Barcelona.

The winger arrived in Wolverhampton this week and enjoyed his first training sessions with the team.

The 21-year-old, who has five senior caps for Portugal, signed on July 4 and could make a permanent switch to Molineux next summer for £25million.

He also played against Wolves for Braga in the Europa League in September 2019.

Several first-team players – including Joao Moutinho, Ruben Neves, Adama Traore and captain Conor Coady – will not take part on Saturday, however, as they are given an extended rest following the European Championships.

New centre-back signing Yerson Mosquera will also miss out, despite becoming Lage’s first signing when he joined on June 17. The Colombian is yet to join his new team-mates and will meet them for the first time when he travels to Marbella for the club’s week-long training camp.

The 20-year-old will have completed a coronavirus isolation period in time to meet the squad in Spain before then travelling back to England.

Goalkeeper Rui Patricio completed his move to Roma last night, with a deal for Jose Sa to be his replacement expected imminently – but Wolves have confirmed the appointments of Lage’s new backroom team.

Alex Silva will link up with Lage as assistant head coach, with Luis Nascimento joining as senior professional development coach. Silva held the same role under Lage at Benfica.

Tony Roberts, who worked with Lage at Swansea, takes the mantle as goalkeeping coach, with Carlos Cachada taking on the role of first-team fitness coach.

Jhony Conceicao worked with Lage at three separate clubs, including the Swans and Sheffield Wednesday, and now heads to Wolves as head of coaching strategy. Diogo Camacho has been named first-team analyst.

The six will all work alongside Lage throughout the campaign, with the club looking to improve on their 13th-placed finish in Nuno Espirito Santo’s final season as boss.

Meanwhile, youngster Ryan Giles has signed for Mick McCarthy’s Cardiff City on a season-long loan.

The Telford-born 21-year-old spent the first half of last season on-loan at Coventry before switching to Championship rivals Rotherham for the remaining months of the campaign.

The season before he impressed at Shrewsbury Town before his first short stint with Coventry.

The wing-back has come through the Wolves academy as a promising talent and has so far made one senior appearance, in the FA Cup against Shrewsbury in January 2019.

He has been training with new boss Lage for the last week since the squad returned for pre-season, but now Giles is set to return to the Championship and team up with former Wolves manager McCarthy at Cardiff, who will hope to break into the play-offs this year.

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