The Portuguese men's national team will play Mexico this Friday at 8:30 pm EST at Gillette Stadium, home of the National Football League's (NFL) New England Patriots. It's the second time the Portuguese team has come to Boston for a friendly in less than a year's time as they battled Brazil last September in the same stadium. In that match, Cristiano Ronaldo sat out due to injury. Tonight, he'll be forced to watch from the sidelines once more as he nurses a hamstring strain and knee tendinosis in his left leg. Tendinosis is described as a degeneration of tendon collagen due to chronic overuse.
Ronaldo has ten days to get fit for Portugal's opening World Cup game against Germany, and though he's been practicing at a lighter pace away from his teammates, he's racing against the clock to overcome his injuries before the tournament launches next week. The Portuguese Federation is hopeful that Cristiano will be fit enough to feature in the team's last "dress rehearsal" before the World Cup, a friendly against Northern Ireland this Tuesday, but manager Paulo Bento is taking it one day at a time:
"When he's ready to play is a decision that will be made just like any other player, regardless of who it is. As soon as he is ready to train, we will make that announcement."
Joining CR7 on the sidelines will be his Real Madrid teammate, Pepe, who is also working to overcome an injury in time for Portugal's first World Cup game on June 16.
American viewers can catch Portugal vs. Mexico on ESPN2 tonight at 8:30 pm EST.