Pepe Injury: Updates on Real Madrid Star's Calf and Return

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Pepe Injury: Updates on Real Madrid Star's Calf and Return
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Updates from Saturday, June 7

Jan Hagen of FIFA has the latest on Pepe:

Updates from Thursday, June 5

Tom Marshall of ESPNFC has bad news regarding Pepe's status:

Updates from Friday, May 30

Pepe will play no part in Portugal's World Cup warm-up against Greece, according to the official World Cup 2014 Twitter account.

The Real Madrid man is still suffering with a calf issue, and will join Cristiano Ronaldo on the sidelines:

 

Updates from Friday, May 23

Real Madrid have nearly given up on Pepe's availability for Saturday's Champions League final, according to Spanish daily Marca.

A calf problem looks set to sideline the defender:

Carlo Ancelotti has begun to plan for the absence of the Portuguese stopper with Raphaël Varane set to replace him.

In the last training session at the club's Valdebebas training ground, Pepe and Benzema remained indoors and were given intensive treatment by the Madrid medical team, both pushing for a place in Lisbon at the weekend.

According to Merengue sources, Pepe is a major doubt due to a muscle injury to his calf.

 Ancelotti provided more information on the defender's status, according to the official Champions League Twitter feed:

Updates from Tuesday, May 20

Pepe has become a major doubt for Real Madrid ahead of Saturday's Champions League final showdown against Atletico.

Carlo Ancelotti said of the defender on Tuesday, via Madrid's official Twitter:

ESPN FC's Dermot Corrigan then noted a further comment from Ancelotti:

 

Updates from Monday, May 19

Real Madrid centre-back Pepe will play in the Champions League final, according to Marca's P. Polo.

The defender has been nursing a calf problem, but Polo reports:

Pepe is making excellent progress and, barring any setbacks, will be fit for Lisbon. Cristiano Ronaldo is also shaping up well ahead of the clash against Atlético: his test results following the Espanyol scare didn't reveal anything major, so he will be able to lead Real's quest for 'La Décima'.

 

Updates from Sunday, May 11

Football Espana's Staff confirms Pepe's status for Real Madrid's Champions League final match:

Pepe has been told by the Real Madrid doctors that he will be fit to face Atletico Madrid in the Champions League final.

Los Blancos play their city rivals in the European Cup showpiece in just under two weeks at Estadio Da Luz in Lisbon.

Original Text

Pepe's Champions League final aspirations appeared to be dashed after Real Madrid confirmed the player has sustained a muscle injury to his left leg.

The Spanish giants posted a statement via the club's official website about the player:

After receiving imaging tests today in the Hospital Sanitas La Moraleja, the Real Madrid player Pepe was diagnosed with a grade 1 injury in the soleus muscle of [his] left leg. The player's progress will be monitored.

David Ramos/Getty Images

A timeframe for Pepe's return has not been given, but such an injury is likely to keep the influential defender on the sidelines for between two and three weeks.

With the final of Europe's most prestigious club competition falling on May 24, it will now be a race against the clock to get him fit.

Dermot Corrigan, from ESPN and Fox News, took to Twitter to confirm his thoughts about Pepe's injury.

He tweeted:

The 31-year-old Portugal defender has been impressive at the heart of the back line for Madrid this season alongside partner Sergio Ramos. 

He has featured in all but one of Madrid's Champions League games this year, per UEFA.com, and he would be sorely missed against Atletico Madrid and the striking talents of Diego Costa and David Villa.

Pepe has been a mainstay in La Liga this year. The player has featured in 30 of the club's domestic league matches, per SquawkaLosing the veteran defender would severely hamper Madrid's chances against a frightening Atletico team, who look set to clinch the domestic title. 

To lose a historic derby match in a Champions League final is simply incomprehensible to Los Blancos, who are chasing their 10th European crown.

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The focus is always on Madrid's attacking contingent of Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and company, but the spine of Pepe and Ramos has allowed those great attackers to perform to the highest levels.

Carlo Ancelotti will do his best to have his alpha male centre-back in his team and will be dreading having to play such an important match without him.

It would be a tragedy for Pepe to miss the match with it being played in his home nation of Portugal, although his absence would likely open the door for Raphael Varane. 

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