Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo expects goalkeeper Rui Patricio to make a swift recovery after he suffered a scary head injury in Monday’s 1-0 loss to Liverpool.
Patricio collided with the knee of onrushing defender Conor Coady towards the end of the match and required lengthy treatment on the field, including being given oxygen, before being carried off on a stretcher.
The incident brought back sickening memories of the head injury suffered by teammate Raul Jimenez, who remains sidelined after fracturing his skull in a collision with Arsenal‘s David Luiz in November. But Nuno revealed after the game that Patricio seemed in better health that the Mexican did after his injury.
“Rui Patricio is OK,” Nuno told BBC Sport. “He’s conscious, he’s aware and he remembers what happened. The assessment is positive – he’s going to be OK.
“Concussion, when it’s something so serious, you always get worried. It can happen in football. He’s OK. We have to be aware of the right measures. He’s in good hands.”
Unlike Jimenez, Patricio was not immediately rushed to hospital, with medics in the stadium confident they were well-equipped to deal with the issue, suggesting Patricio may have avoided any major damage.
Jimenez is back in light training but can still barely involve himself in contact situations, with Nuno unsure whether he will be back at all this season, but the boss seemed more confident that we will see Patricio again before long.
The incident has brought yet another aspect of refereeing into question. These days, assistant referees are encouraged to keep their flags down on tight offside calls, safe in the knowledge that VAR can (usually) come to the right conclusion, and the lack of an offside call is what led to this collision.
Mohamed Salah had the ball in the back of the net but was ruled offside, but because play was not stopped earlier, he was allowed to advance and cause the chaos in the box which ultimately led to Patricio’s injury.
“The law is clear,” Nuno said when asked if offside calls should be made earlier in future. “The referees keep the flag down and play to the whistle. Situations will happen. This won’t be the only time.”