Doctors have given Real Madrid's Portuguese defender Pepe, who has not played since undergoing surgery in December to fix a knee injury, permission to train with the national team ahead of the 2010 FIFA World Cup™.

The medical team of both Real Madrid and the Portuguese national team have granted the 27-year-old a clinical discharge, the Spanish club said in a statement posted on its web site.

"The defender will progressively rejoin regular training duties with Portugal until the start of the World Cup," it said.

Portugal coach Carlos Queiroz is scheduled to announce his final 23-man squad for the 11 June - 11 July shortly. He included the Brazilian-born player in his preliminary squad on 10 May.

The defender, who played a key part in Portugal's qualifiers, damaged a knee ligament in a fall during a league match against Valencia in December.

Portugal are in Group G with five-time world champion Brazil, Côte d'Ivoire and Korea DPR.

The squad's opening game is against Côte d'Ivoire on 15 June.