Pepe to return in Mozambique friendly

MAGALIESBURG, South Africa - Portugal defender Pepe will return as a substitute in a pre-World Cup friendly against Mozambique on Tuesday after being sidelined for six months due to a knee injury, coach Carlos Queiroz said.

"Certainly he will play. I will only announce the lineup on Tuesday, but we are counting on Pepe to play some minutes," Queiroz told a press conference on Monday.

"We haven't yet decided how long he will play, but it will be in the second half, when the tempo of the game is lower," the coach added.

The Real Madrid player, who cost the Spanish club 30 million euros when he moved from Porto in 2007, fell awkwardly and damaged the cruciate ligament in his knee while playing in La Liga in December.

He underwent surgery and has not played since, but was cleared to travel to the finals by doctors late last month.

Portugal begin their World Cup Group G campaign against Ivory Coast on June 15 before matches with North Korea and Brazil.

Follow on Twitter
Join on Facebook