Wolves midfielder Morgan Gibbs-White has confessed it was special to see striker Raul Jimenez return to action in Saturday’s friendly against Crewe, eight months after suffering a fractured skull.
Jimenez was involved in a nasty clash of heads with Arsenal’s David Luiz on November 29, and although he was cleared to play again back in May, everyone involved decided to delay his return even further to ensure no risks were taken.
The Mexican striker donned some trendy protective headgear as he started Wolves‘ first pre-season friendly, hitting the bar with a free-kick as his side fell 1-0 to League One side Crewe on Saturday.
“It was a magical feeling,” Gibbs-White told the club’s official website of Jimenez’s return. “To see where he’s come from, to be back so soon, we can only thank god – it’s a miracle. He’s come back strong, he’s put in so much work over time and everyone is glad to see him back.
“He just makes our game easier, he’s always moving, always offering for the ball, and when he’s in front of goal you know he’s going to score. We’ve just got to give him time, get him fit and make sure he’s 100% in himself, and when he’s ready to go, he’s ready to go.
“He’s massive for us, the way he works, what he brings to the game, the goals he scores. You saw last season, when he had the injury, when we didn’t have him, we were lost, so hopefully he can come back and score more goals for us.
“It gets us excited, knowing our top goal scorer is back and ready to go. Playing with him makes our game so much easier because you always know where he’s going to be, where he wants the ball, and he can finish around the box. We can’t wait for him to come back at Molineux.”
Jimenez’s return was one of the bright spots in an otherwise frustrating first outing for the team under new boss Bruno Lage, but Gibbs-White admitted he is eager to see what the new manager can do with a little more time.
“It’s going really good,” he continued. “The way he wants to play is really good for us and we’re still trying to get used to how he wants to play.
“We had Nuno for four years, so the transition is quite different, but since he came in the door the new manager, he’s been unbelievable, he’s been demanding and I’m enjoying working for him and looking forward to seeing how things go.
“He’s always getting on to us in training, telling you what he wants you to do, what positions he wants you to pick up, giving you confidence on the ball to play certain passes, so I feel like this is going to be a real good season for us to play football.
“He’s giving me confidence, with certain positions and passes, and he’s showing leadership I can take onto the field and try to impress. Fingers crossed, I’ll be starting.”