‘He was going for the ball… unfortunately it was on my head’: Raul Jimenez doesn’t blame David Luiz for fractured skull that kept him sidelined for nearly a year as Wolves striker returns to the Mexico fold
- Raul Jimenez suffered severe head injuries after clash with David Luiz last year
- Mexican striker missed nearly a year of action after suffering fractured skull
- But Jimenez doesn’t blame the former Arsenal defender for the injury
- He admits memories of the match and his treatment in hospital remain hazy
- Jimenez returned to action for Wolves at the start of the season
Raul Jimenez doesn’t blame David Luiz for the serious head injury that kept him out of action for almost a year.
A clash of heads between the Wolves striker and the former Arsenal defender in November last year led to Jimenez suffering a fractured skull that threatened his life, not just his career.
The Mexico international, 30, returned to action for Wolves at the beginning of this season and scored his first goal since the incident in last month’s win at Southampton.
Raul Jimenez suffered a fractured skull after a clash of heads with David Luiz last season
The Wolves striker says he doesn’t blame Luiz for the incident that kept him out for a year
He is currently with Mexico, having returned to the squad for the upcoming trio of World Cup qualifiers against Canada, Honduras and El Salvador.
Looking back on the horrific moment, he told Mexico’s W Radio: ‘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 Luiz; he was going with the intention of heading the ball. Unfortunately, it was on my head.’
Jimenez admits he remembers little of the moment but has pieced it together from watching replays and speaking to his Wolves team-mates.
Jimenez says he has watched the incident back numerous times from different camera angles
Jimenez scored the first goal since his Wolves return in their recent win over Southampton
‘I have seen it several time. I asked the video people and the social media people at the club if they had different shots of the incident,’ he said.
‘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.
‘I don’t remember when the match started, nor the corner kick or the blow.
‘Being in the hospital, I was conscious when I was in the ambulance on the way to the hospital, but I don’t remember that. I don’t remember after the operation.
‘I have memories of things I did in the hospital, that they brought me my food, that they stopped me from walking, but it’s not much either.’
The game was stopped for 10 minutes after the incident just a few minutes in and Jimenez underwent surgery to repair his fractured skull that same evening.
Jimenez will play with protective headgear most likely for the remainder of his playing career
In an interview with The Guardian, Jimenez revealed doctors told him ‘it was a miracle’ he had survived the blow.
He added: ‘[There was] the skull fracture, the bone broke and there was a little bit of bleeding inside the brain.
‘It was pushing my brain to the inside and that is why the surgery had to be quick. It was a really good job by the doctors.
‘The skull fracture did take a little longer than we all expected to heal but it is a miracle to be here.’
Luiz continued playing for the rest of the first-half with a bandaged head before being substituted. Arsenal said concussion protocols were followed and the decision was made to play on.
David Luiz played on with a bandage following the clash of heads before being subbed off
Mexico wanted to call Jimenez up for their qualifiers against Jamaica, Costa Rica and Panama last month but Wolves refused because of concerns over the Covid pandemic and the requirement for the striker to quarantine upon his return.
The Mexican FA reported Wolves to FIFA and Jimenez faced the prospect of a five-day suspension after the internationals but this was later overturned.