Portugal boosted by Ronaldo return

The Real Madrid star has been hampered by injury problems since the end of his club season but now appears to have overcome those troubles

Cristiano Ronaldo is set to return to training in a massive boost to Portugal's World Cup preparations.

The 29-year-old has missed both of Portugal's pre-finals friendlies so far - a 0-0 draw with Greece and Friday's 1-0 win over Mexico.

Ronaldo has been struggling with persistent knee injuries ever since Real Madrid's Champions League final victory over Atletico at the end of May.

Fenerbahce's Raul Meireles will also make his comeback after at last overcoming a troublesome thigh problem.

A statement on the Portuguese Football Federation's website on Saturday explained that both would return to training with the rest of the squad.

But, one worry for coach Paulo Bento is the fitness of central defender Pepe, who has been troubled by a calf injury and he will continue "individual rehabilitation and specific exercises".

Portugal have one more friendly, against Republic of Ireland in New Jersey on Tuesday, before their World Cup campaign begins.

Following that game, Bento and his squad will fly out to Brazil and begin final preparations for their opening Group G fixture against Germany on June 16.