Portuguese international Pepe, who has not played for Real Madrid since December due to injury, said Thursday he is keen to return to action for the Spanish giants.
“I feel fine and am eager to step onto the pitch and help the team. I can?t wait to play at the Bernabeu again. It is very important to me,” he said in comments published on the team’s website.
The Brazilian-born defender suffered knee ligament damage that required surgery during Real’s 3-2 La Liga win at Valencia on December 12 which forced him to miss the rest of the 2009-10 season.
The player, whose full name is Kleper Laveran Lima Ferreira, recovered in time be a part of Portugal’s World Cup squad in South Africa but he then tore a muscle in his left leg in august during Real’s pre-season US tour.
He is recovering from his injury along with his compatriot Cristiano Ronaldo, who hurt his right ankle during’s Real’s 0-0 draw at Real Mallorca on August 29, although neither are expected to feature on Saturday against Osasuna.
Pepe said Real was fired up to beat Osasuna the match after being held to a goalless draw against Real Mallorca during their first Spanish league match under new Portuguese coach Jose Mourinho.
“We always try to win, but it isn?t possible all the time. It is our duty to do a good job and fight to the end to take three points. That?s what we?ll do,” the 27-year-old said.
“Mourinho is different. He stands out in many things. He is a very good coach, like the rest who have been on this team, but this is a new era both for him and for us.”
“This is a good experience for all. Being able to coach Real Madrid is like a reward for his career. We all want the best for the club and we will prove we can win our games,” he added.
Pepe joined Real from Portuguese side FC Porto in 2007 on a five-year contract in a deal worth 30 million euros (38 million dollars).
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