Real Betis full-back Nelson has been drafted into the Portugal squad for their World Cup qualifier with Northern Ireland.
Paulo Bento has turned to Nelson after seeing Fabio Coentrao forced to withdraw through injury.
Real Madrid defender Coentrao limped out of Friday's clash with Russia after 20 minutes and the Portuguese FA have confirmed that he will sit out a home date with Northern Ireland as a result.
Midfielder Raul Meireles also picked up an injury during training on Thursday but Bento has decided not to call up a replacement for him, instead making do with the remaining 22 players at his disposal.
Portugal lost their 100 per cent start to their 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign after going down 1-0 to Russia and are now second in Group F, three points behind the Russians after three games.
Northern Ireland are fourth with one point from two games.