Soccer-Wolves striker Jimenez returns to action after head injury

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(Reuters) - Wolverhampton Wanderers striker Raul Jimenez played his first game since fracturing his skull in November, featuring in a 1-0 pre-season friendly defeat by third-tier Crewe Alexandra on Saturday.

The 30-year-old Mexico international, who now wears protective headgear, almost scored on his return to action, striking the bar with a free kick before being replaced by Patrick Cutrone after 33 minutes.

Jimenez was injured on Nov. 29 after a clash of heads with Arsenal defender David Luiz and received lengthy treatment on the pitch before being taken off on a stretcher and rushed to hospital for emergency surgery.

He was back in training in February and cleared to return in May but was not risked for Wolves' final game of the season against Manchester United.

Jimenez has scored 48 goals in 110 appearances for Wolves in all competitions, and netted four times in nine Premier League games last season before his injury.

Wolves, who finished 13th under former manager Nuno Espirito Santo last term, begin their Premier League campaign under new boss Bruno Lage at Leicester City on Aug. 14.

(Reporting by Hritika Sharma in Bengaluru; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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