John Ruddy delighted by Raul Jimenez's Wolves return

Goalkeeper John Ruddy hailed ‘dangerous’ Raul Jimenez for his off-field work as he finally returned from injury for Wolves.

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

The striker made his long-awaited comeback on Saturday after fracturing his skull, starting in the friendly loss to Crewe.

He was taken off after 34 minutes in a pre-planned move to steadily improve his fitness, after eight months on the sidelines. But with the severity of his injury there were initial concerns he would not play again.

Now he has made his comeback, goalkeeper Ruddy was full of praise for the forward.

“It’s surreal to see how well he’s done in such a short space of time,” Ruddy said. “I think it was only three or four weeks after he did it (the injury), and he was out and about. Walking, doing keepy-ups with the ball. It was incredible.

“It’s a testament to himself and the medical team – and obviously the support he got at the time of the injury.

“He’s worked tirelessly to get back to the point he is now and we’re absolutely delighted to have him back.”

During his spell on the pitch Jimenez looked fairly sharp and linked up well with Fabio Silva.

He also headed the ball again with confidence – while wearing his protective headgear – which was no surprise to Ruddy. The goalkeeper added: “To see him on the pitch was brilliant and I think we saw exactly what he brings to the team in the half an hour he had.

“His link-up play was intelligent. The way he presses for us is vital.

“It’s been a long journey for him but we’re delighted to have him back and we’re looking forward to even more of it.

“He’s done all the tests and gone through everything and that’s testament to our medical team.

“They’ve made sure he’s ticked any box he needed to before he stepped out on to that pitch.

“You can see it, he’s well up for it. His intelligence and heading ability, it hasn’t really been affected. You can’t underestimate what he brings.

“We had a lot of different factors last year, a bit of unbalance and some indifferent performances last season.

“But without a shadow of a doubt, Raul being out was the biggest miss for the team.

“It’s very rare that you come across a player that is so valuable to a team, but that’s exactly what Raul is. He starts the press for us and is such an intelligent player. He’s dangerous.”

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