Raul Jimenez says docs instructed him it was a “miracle” he survived a cranium fracture final yr, however the Wolves striker was at all times assured he would get better and play soccer once more.
Jimenez made his first aggressive look on Saturday since sustaining the injury at Arsenal in November 2020 following an unintended conflict of heads with David Luiz.
The Mexico worldwide acquired oxygen on the pitch earlier than being carried off on a stretcher and brought to hospital, the place he had emergency surgery for a major traumatic brain injury (TBI) and cranium fracture.
Nearly 9 months later, the 30-year-old performed the total 90 minutes of Wolves’ Premier League season opener against Leicester. Addressing reporters on Tuesday, he spoke at size concerning the “surprising” incident and his highway to restoration.
“For the reason that first second, the surgeons and docs instructed me what occurred and the dangers,” Jimenez mentioned. “Generally it isn’t what you wish to hear but it surely’s their job. They instructed me it was a miracle to be right here.
“The bone had damaged and there was slightly little bit of bleeding inside my mind. That is why the surgical procedure needed to be fast and it was a extremely good job from the docs.
“For the reason that starting, they had been actually supportive with me. The cranium fracture took slightly bit longer than all of us anticipated to heal and it truly is a miracle for me to be right here with you.”
‘I used to be assured I’d play once more’
Jimenez returned to full pre-season coaching below new Wolves boss Bruno Lage in July and scored his first goal since the injury in a 1-1 pleasant draw with Stoke.
He now wears specially-designed headgear for heading, full-contact coaching and matches. He’ll proceed to take action for the remainder of his profession and says it by no means crossed his thoughts to cease taking part in soccer altogether.
“I at all times thought it was perhaps like an ankle damage or a knee damage, and after my restoration I will be again to do what I like to do,” he mentioned.
“I by no means considered ending my profession or stopping taking part in. There was an opportunity of that, however I used to be at all times assured I used to be going to return.”
Jimenez: Cech has been in touch
The final Premier League participant to maintain the same damage was Everton defender Michael Keane, who had a hairline cranium fracture in August 2018.
Earlier than that, Ryan Mason fractured his cranium in a conflict of heads whereas taking part in for Hull at Chelsea in January 2017. He returned to coaching later that yr however didn’t play one other aggressive match and was pressured to retire in February 2018.
In 2006, goalkeeper Petr Cech sustained a depressed fracture of the cranium when he slid in on the ft of an opponent whereas taking part in for Chelsea. He required emergency mind surgical procedure and wore headgear in matches till he retired in 2019.
Jimenez, who admits he struggled mentally at occasions throughout his restoration however is grateful for the help community round him – together with his Wolves team-mates and employees – revealed Cech has been in contact.
“I’ve been in touch with Petr,” Jimenez mentioned. “He texted me after I wanted, after I needed he was there.
“As soon as, when the workforce went to a sport in London, he went to the resort with the physician to carry considered one of his helmets to see if we might do one thing related. Even when they do not know you, they’re there to assist.”
Jimenez says the headgear he wears has been modified for the reason that first time he wore it throughout pre-season. Regardless of its consolation, he would reasonably play with out it.
“If it was all the way down to me, I would not use it. I might play as regular,” he mentioned.
“However the docs instructed me that it is safety, to forestall one thing that on this second may very well be extra harmful for me.
“I really feel good to do it with out the headgear, however I do know I’ve to be according to the docs, the surgeons. They are saying it’s best for me to make use of it.”
‘I really feel like a participant once more’
Throughout his return to Premier League motion on the King Energy Stadium on Saturday, Jimenez revealed he was congratulated on his restoration by various Leicester gamers together with James Maddison and Caglar Soyuncu.
This weekend, Wolves’ star striker will play at dwelling in entrance of a full crowd as former boss Nuno Espirito Santo brings his Tottenham side to Molineux.
Jimenez is looking forward to a brilliant future, one thing that appeared so unsure final November.
“I really feel actually good,” he mentioned. “I really feel I am a participant once more now after nearly 9 months of being out.
“Now I am coaching with the workforce and I’ve been the entire of pre-season, I believe it was the suitable second to return again and begin the season once more.
“I am ready for the second when the followers name my identify. Earlier than the damage I believe I used to be taking part in good, the workforce was taking part in actually good and doing good issues on the pitch.
“We’re like a household so it is a goal to get the workforce again the place it deserves.”