Ronaldo returns to boost Portugal hopes

AFP| Last Updated: Jun 07, 2014, 22:19 PM IST

New Jersey: Cristiano Ronaldo handed Portugal a huge boost on Saturday as he returned to training after leg injuries that had threatened to wreck his World Cup.

The star forward has been struggling for weeks with thigh and knee injuries that forced him out of Portugal`s last two warm-up matches and raised fears he might miss the start of the Brazil tournament.

Portugal kick off their World Cup campaign against Germany on June 16 in Group G, which also features the USA and Ghana.

The 29-year-old Ronaldo took part in training with the rest of the Portugal squad in New Jersey, in the United States, and could be in line for a return to competitive action on Tuesday in a friendly with Ireland.

The Portuguese have struggled in the Real Madrid ace`s absence, drawing 0-0 with Greece last weekend and laboring against fellow World Cup qualifiers Mexico Friday before grabbing a 1-0 victory in injury time.

Experienced midfielder Raul Meireles also trained with the full squad on Saturday, while key defender Pepe, another injury casualty, stepped up his return but remains on a separate rehabilitation program.