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I’m alive by ‘miracle’, says Wolves’ Jimenez after recovering from skull fracture


Raul Jimenez speaks on head collision against Arsenal

Mexico and Wolves striker, Raul Jimenez, has described his recovery from a sickening accidental mid-air collision with defender Arsenal’s David Luiz last November as “a miracle”.

Knocked-out cold immediately the 30-year-old underwent emergency surgery and has lived to tell the story, in his first major interview, of how he survived the near-death experience.

While Arsenal’s Luiz bled nonstop as he carried on the game, the Mexican required oxygen and stretcher as medics swept in to take him off Emirates pitch to St Mary’s Hospital, five miles away.

Jimenez has suffered a skull fracture and the horrific moment was witnessed on TV by his wife, Daniela, and their baby girl, Arya, who were whisked from Wolverhampton to London and had to stay at the hospital for two days before being allowed to see him because covid restrictions were necessary to protect the striker in his fragile state, post-op.

UK Sun reports that Sophie Camp and her neurosurgery team performed the life-saving operation to relieve the pressure on his brain — actions which eventually helped Jimenez make his long-awaited and miraculous Premier League return against Leicester on Saturday.

The Mexican star, 30, said: “They told me it was a miracle I was there at all. When the skull fractured the bone broke — and there was a bit of bleeding inside the brain.

“It was pushing the brain to the inside and that is why the surgery had to be so quick.

“It was a really good job by the surgeon and doctors, and now, thankfully, I am back. I’m lucky to be alive. What happened to me shows we have to be prepared. It can happen any time.”

Jimenez, who was more concerned for his family said: “It was more difficult for Daniela, at home with the baby, calling everyone to find out how I was but they were at the game.

“They were not allowed to visit me, not even for five minutes.

“They spent two nights in London and we were in contact by video until she had the opportunity to visit me safely again before going home.”

Left to his own devices, Jimenez turned to his electronic devices to shed light on the darkest night of his career.

He added: “I remember messaging our players’ group on WhatsApp and saying I was awake and the surgery had been really good.

“I congratulated them because of the Arsenal result but they told me ‘it doesn’t matter, the good thing is that you are safe, that is our real win’.

“Later, in hospital I had the physio send me videos of the incident from every angle. Because I couldn’t remember, it was like it never happened.

“I’ve never been easily scared. Sometimes you see videos of a broken ankle or a tibia and you feel it. Even though it’s not happening to you, you still feel it in your body.

“This time it was me. It was shocking. The impact. Then I hit the floor.

“But it didn’t scare me. I wanted even more video clips, to see different aspects, who was marking who? If I didn’t make those two steps to attack the ball at the last minute, what made me jump backwards?”

The Mexican who featured in Wolves’ 1-0 first pre-season friendly defeat by third-tier Crewe Alexandra and the Premier League opener against Leicester, which ended in a 1-0 defeat said that he never considered not playing again after the accident.

He explained: “The clips I watched in hospital were only ten seconds long.

“It was only when I was on holiday I saw a video on YouTube of what happened afterwards and the reaction.

“I never considered not playing again. I always felt, like any other injury, I’d recover and go back to doing what I love to do.

“The doctors told me I was lucky to be alive and, even if it was only a small chance — one per cent or more — there was always the chance I’d never play again. But I was always confident.

“It’s taken longer than I expected to heal and the last month of the season was the worst because I was fully fit.

“But the MRI scans revealed it wasn’t ready yet and I was reminded it’s a miracle I’m here at all.”