Nuno Espírito Santo is cautiously optimistic that the Wolves goalkeeper Rui Patrício will recover fully from the head injury he suffered in a distressing collision just before the end of his team’s 1-0 defeat by Liverpool.
Patrício collided with the knee of his teammate Conor Coady as the pair tried to tackle Mohamed Salah, and medics treated the Portuguese on the pitch for nearly a quarter of an hour before carrying him off on a stretcher. Wolves are all too aware of the danger of head trauma, as their striker Raúl Jiménez continues to recover from a fractured skull suffered against Arsenal in November. Nuno therefore looked relieved, following the Liverpool defeat, when he confirmed the early prognosis was that Patrício appeared to have been more fortunate.
“The update from the doctors is he is OK,” said Nuno. “He is conscious and remembers what happens. We have to take the right precautions but he’s OK. It was big knock to his head. The next 48 hours are important. We have to wait. But he’s in good hands, being assessed by the doctors and they tell me he is OK.”
Diogo Jota, the former Wolves player who scored the winning goal for Liverpool, said his only thoughts were with his compatriot Patrício. “Life is more important,” he said. “We wish him a speedy recovery.”
Jota’s goal was his 10th for Liverpool since joining the club for £45m from Wolves last summer and his first since returning from three months off with an injury of his own. “He’s just a class football player,” said Jürgen Klopp. “We cannot take it for granted that a boy who is out for three months is going to come back and immediately have an impact again. That is pretty rare, to be honest, but he had it. He played well and it was a perfect moment to score a goal, just before the half-time whistle.”
Klopp also enthused about the performance of Ozan Kabak and Nat Phillips, who helped keep another clean sheet in only their third match starting together in the centre of Liverpool’s defence. “They did really well,” said Klopp. “Their last game was difficult but this was difficult for completely different reasons.
“The speed of [Adama] Traoré is undefendable at moments. It was a massive task from a concentration point of view and they did really well. I’m really happy for them.”