Wolves striker Raul Jimenez: Luiz was not to blame

Wolves striker Raul Jimenez has absolved David Luiz of any blame for his life-threatening head injury.

Players reacts after Arsenal's David Luiz (left, floor) clashes heads with Wolverhampton Wanderers' Raul Jimenez (right, floor) during the Premier League match at the Emirates Stadium, London..
Players reacts after Arsenal's David Luiz (left, floor) clashes heads with Wolverhampton Wanderers' Raul Jimenez (right, floor) during the Premier League match at the Emirates Stadium, London..

Jimenez suffered a fractured skull in a gruesome clash of heads with Luiz, then playing for Arsenal, during a Premier League fixture last November.

Luiz came in for criticism from some quarters at the time with the Brazilian defender admitting the incident had left him “traumatised”.

But Jimenez, who made a full recovery and has returned to action for Wolves in the Premier League this season, has insisted Luiz was not to blame.

He said: “I’ve seen it several times. I asked the video people and the social media people at the club if they had different shots of the play.

“One of their players goes to the front post and passes in front of me.

“If I didn’t take that step, I wouldn’t jump backwards, and I would have jumped in front of him.

“Jumping backwards, he caught me loose. I take 100 per cent of the blame off David. He was going with the intention of heading the ball – unfortunately, it was on my head.”

Jimenez, who has previously described how doctors told him it was a miracle he survived the injury, has admitted he still has no memory of the incident.

He explained: “I don’t remember anything. I remember that we arrived at the stadium, that I went out to see the pitch, I went into the dressing room to change and then the lights went out.”

Jimenez was talking to Mexican radio ahead of his long-awaited anticipated return for the national team.

The 30-year-old is poised to kick-off a hectic nine-day spell when Mexico host Canada in a World Cup qualifier during the early hours of tomorrow morning UK time.

Further qualifiers against Honduras and away to El Salvador then follow, with the latter scheduled for next Thursday morning UK time.

That will give Jimenez less than 60 hours recovery time ahead of Wolves resuming their Premier League season away at Villa on the Saturday afternoon, though head coach Bruno Lage last week expressed confidence he would be available for the fixture.

Jimenez will be required to quarantine in a “bespoke facility” on his return to the UK, though he will be allowed to train and play matches, in accordance with the compromise agreement between the government and Premier League for players visiting red-list countries. Willy Boly will be subject to the same protocols with the Wolves defender due to visit red-list Malawi while away with the Ivory Coast.

Wolves now have 11 players away on international duty after winger Francisco Trincao received a late call to join the Portugal squad, following the withdrawal of Benfica’s Rafa Silva through injury.

The club’s top scorer, Hwang Hee-chan, was today due to feature for South Korea when they hosted Syria in a World Cup qualifier.

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