Raul Jimenez’s return to Wolves’ training ground this week has given everyone “a big lift” , according to Nuno Espirito Santo.
The Mexican striker, 29, is recovering after surgery on a fractured skull he sustained against Arsenal on November 29.
But he popped down to Wolves ‘ Compton training ground this week to see his team-mates for the first time since being discharged from hospital last week.
He has since had breakfast with the squad on Friday and may even attend Saturday’s home game with Aston Villa.
Boss Nuno reacted: “It was a huge moment for everybody to see him smiling and recovering well.
“It was a big lift for everybody involved.
“To see how bad the situation was and then to see him again smiling.
“He is on his way to being the same person he was.
“It was a very happy moment.
“We were so worried.
“It is so good to have him around.
“We had normal conversations and we also spoke about the team and how we see it.
“He is the same Raul – smiling and positive.
“It means a lot after that situation to see him, hug him, see him smile and see him progress.
“He had breakfast with us on Friday and can easily come to the match on Saturday.
“It is the decision of the doctor to see if it is the right moment to do it because at a match, the emotions are there.
“But it is good to see that he is OK and he is going to be back – it is fantastic.
“Raul is a player who must be inside of the pitch.
“I know in his mind is his will to return.
“He has to give time to his body but he has a desire to return which is the most important thing.”
Wolves have not put a timescale on Jimenez’s return to first team action after his clash of heads with David Luiz at the Emirates Stadium.
Jimenez had to be stretchered off and taken to hospital, where he swiftly underwent an operation.
He is now recovering at home with his partner, Daniela, and young daughter, Arya.
Nuno added: “We don’t have a timetable.
“We have to follow the protocols.
“Mainly it is about getting him healthy again.
“We don’t rush.”
Jimenez’s absence is a huge blow to Wolves after scoring four goals this term and 27 last season.
In his absence Nuno selected Adama Traore, Pedro Neto and Daniel Podence last time out in a 4-0 loss at champions Liverpool.
Nuno admitted: “Without Raul it is more challenging but it is up to us to find solutions.”
Wolves have already been linked with Hulk, 34, who is a free agent after leaving Chinese Super League club Shanghai SIPG.
The Brazilian forward previously played at Porto alongside Nuno.
Nuno hasn’t ruled out a move for him but was coy ahead of January.
He said: “We are in December.
“It is not the moment to think about the transfer window.”