This has been a season rife with injuries for Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Unfortunately for the Old Gold, it’s showing no sign of slowing down. Pedro Neto and Jonny are currently long-term absentees, while Raul Jimenez remains out of action while he recovers from a fractured skull.
Fitness concerns have plagued their campaign and, as they prepared to face West Brom last weekend, Nuno Espirito Santo was left to worry about the condition of Nelson Semedo and Joao Moutinho. Although Semedo made the fixture, the latter was still missing through injury.
Moutinho looks ready to face Brighton on Sunday lunchtime but they do have one big concern heading into that clash. Rayan Ait-Nouri was taken off with eight minutes left against the Baggies and he appears to be a doubt to play this weekend.
The Angers loanee is still suffering from a knock and is currently a 50/50 chance to be fit and ready for the visit of the Seagulls.
This news should have Nuno fearful. After all, he is already missing Marcal in that position and is short of options. With Wolves’ defence in disarray during their recent 4-0 defeat to Burnley, the last thing he needs is playing someone out of position.
Nonetheless, the 47-year-old has a lot of thinking to do. Romain Saiss has played at left-back and left-wing back this term, but his form has been questionable in recent weeks. Ki-Jana Hoever is another alternative, but he has only started three top-flight matches all campaign.
Nuno could also turn to Max Kilman. The issue with him, however, is that he has played just nine minutes of football since Valentine’s Day. The 23-year-old’s future at Wolves has been under threat but he was the man to replace Ait-Nouri last time out.
One player’s loss could be another one’s gain here. Should the Frenchman miss the match against Brighton, it may just give Kilman the opportunity to play himself back into Nuno’s thoughts.
Either way, this situation is not ideal for the manager. Wolves have been particularly shoddy from a defensive point of view this season, so they need everyone in that backline fit and healthy.
With Willy Boly suffering the lasting effects of the ongoing pandemic, the manager could have to patch things together again. Nuno has every right to be nervous right now.