- The Washington Times - Monday, November 30, 2020

Wolverhampton star Raul Jimenez underwent surgery Sunday night after fracturing his skull from a clash of heads during his team’s 2-1 win against Arsenal, the club announced Monday.

Jimenez and defender David Luiz collided heads early in Sunday’s match, and the Mexican striker remained on the turf for almost 10 minutes. He was then attached to oxygen, put on a stretcher and taken to a London hospital.

Jimenez, who has scored four goals in the Premier League this season, is “comfortable” following the operation, the team said in a statement.

“Raul is comfortable following an operation last night, which he underwent in a London hospital,” the statement read. “He has since seen his partner Daniela and is now resting. He will remain under observation for a few days while he begins his recovery.

“The club would like to thank the medical staff at Arsenal, the NHS paramedics, hospital staff and surgeons who, through their skill and early response, were of such help. The club ask that Raul and his family are now afforded a period of space and privacy, before any further updates are provided in due course.”



Luiz remained on the pitch for the remainder of the first half with a bandage covering a wound on his head. Arsenal took off the defender at halftime, and manager Mikel Arteta said Luiz was “really uncomfortable and couldn’t really head the ball and couldn’t continue.”

Arteta said the club followed the concussion protocol before allowing Luiz back on the field following the collision, but the display has drawn criticism.

In the immediate aftermath, some of soccer’s biggest names have expressed their support for a concussion substitute rule, allowing teams to temporarily replace a player so they aren’t rushed back onto the field.

“I think all the concern and care is very important. It is a part of the body that needs special attention,” Manchester City goalkeeper Ederson said. “When there is a blow to the head there should be a substitution, whether the player can continue or not. You could be feeling okay, but after you could feel the consequences.”

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp agreed a concussion substitute rule would make sense. Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola called for further clarity on the league’s concussion protocol procedures.

And for Headway, a brain injury association located in the United Kingdom, Jimenez’s and Luiz’s collision — and the reaction to it — is another example of what needs to change in the sport.

“The question that has to be asked is had the concussion substitutes rule been in place, would Luiz have been allowed to return to the field of play? Would that extra time in the treatment room have led to a different decision being made?” said Luke Griggs, the deputy chief executive at Headway. “Something is not right. This cannot be allowed to continue. How many warnings does football need?”

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