Nuno to play Ruddy this weekend before Wolves’ FA Cup quarter-final
Rui Patricio has been ever present but boss Nuno Espirito Santo will start Ruddy in Saturday’s visit of Cardiff before the last-eight clash with Manchester United in two weeks.
The former Norwich player, 32, has been Wolves’ keeper for the cup competitions.
Ruddy’s last top-flight appearance was in Norwich’s 3-0 defeat at Everton in May 2016.
Nuno, who has no fresh injury worries, told a press conference: “In terms of who is going to play, we have already made our decisions.
“We don’t normally do this, but to avoid any confusion, John Ruddy is going to play because we consider it is the right moment to prepare him for what’s coming in front of us.
“Because in two weeks’ time, we’re going to play in the FA Cup, and John Ruddy is going to be in goal. We consider this is the right moment for him to get some game time in competition, and to be stronger.
“We have a lot of confidence in the three goalkeepers we have. Rui has been playing in the league, John has been playing in the cup, Will Norris has not had a chance until now to play but we have 100 per cent confidence in all three.”
Wolves return to Molineux after Tuesday’s 1-0 defeat at Huddersfield dented their European hopes.
They remain seventh in the Premier League, which could grant a passage to the Europa League, and captain Conor Coady is eager to return to familiar surroundings.
“You feel the history when you go in,” he told the club’s official site.
“We’ve not played there for a few weeks and you miss it, I’ll be honest. You miss playing at home, you miss the buzz of your own supporters being behind you.
“When Molineux gets going, and what it’s been like this year, it’s rocking and it’s an intimidating place to play for the opposition.
“To play there is fantastic for all of us players, we love every single minute of it.”
Wolves lost 2-1 in Cardiff in November before winning three straight games, including a 2-1 victory over Chelsea.
Coady, who signed a new four-year contract last month, admits defeat in Wales has helped Wolves improve and they have lost just four times in 18 games since.
He added: “It was a disappointment, but we knew how tough it was going to be going there. We’ve learnt from that, because we were on a bad little run, but we listened to the manager and at the time we came out of it.
“We adapted a few things in terms of formation and how we wanted to play, and we’ve come out of it by listening to the manager as much as we possibly could.
“We’ll look at that game from when we played them earlier in the season, but it’s different now, we’ve adapted a few things and we can’t wait for it.”