Wolves boss Bruno Lage has revealed the agreement between himself and the Mexico national team manager surrounding the use of Raul Jimenez.
Jimenez suffered a fractured skull last seasons as the result of a head clash with David Luiz and only returned to first-team football at the start of the year.
The Mexican forward has played in every Premier League game this season but came off the bench for just the final few minutes in last weekends 3-2 comeback over Aston Villa.
The game came just days after Jimenez had played three times for Mexico on international duty.
Now, Lage has revealed how he and Gerardo Martino are planning to use the forward.
“That’s the balance we need to find. We both agreed, me and the Mexican national coach, we don’t want an injured Raul. He managed it well, Raul played 90 minutes, after 60 and after 30, but my concern is about the travel,” said the Portuguese manager.
“He travelled and arrived on Friday, and when you look at him, he needs to recover and sleep. On Saturday, I looked at him and he said he feels ok, but I need to make my decisions. When I sent him to warm up, every time I looked, he said he was ok, but inside I want to help the team. We need to take the best decisions and manage him.”
When asked if Jimenez would return to the starting line-up against Leeds on Saturday, Lage said: “Let’s see. He’s training, he feels OK, so tomorrow I take my decision. But he will travel with us.”
Adama Traore returned to the starting line-up last week after a few games coming off the bench and Lage also revealed how he picks which of his forwards start the fixture.
“Trincao, Daniel [Podence], Adama [Traore], Hwang [Hee-chan] – every one of them has his own profile, and the most important thing for me is to find what we need for that game.
“I’m very happy with these solutions because these guys give us a lot. I’m happy with all of them and that’s why the last two weeks, we’re talking about, ‘Why is Adama not playing?’ But it’s because the other three guys are also doing very well. Not just the guys who start, like Hwang and Trincao, but the guys who come on like Daniel.”