Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers: Lucas Leiva’s return is a big boost
Liverpool's Brendan Rodgers believes Lucas Leiva will provide a "big boost", with the midfielder set to make his return from injury
Brendan Rodgers believes Lucas Leiva’s return will give Liverpool “a big boost”, with the Brazil international set to be included in the squad for clash against Southampton at Anfield on Saturday.
The 25-year-old has recovered from a thigh problem which he picked up in a 2-2 draw with Manchester City in August.
It was Lucas’ second Premier League appearance after recovering from a cruciate ligament injury in December 2011 which sidelined the midfielder for nine months.
Lucas featured for the Reds’ Under-21 side against Middlesbrough last Friday, and Rodgers is confident the former Gremio star can slot into his first-team.
“He’s very much looking forward to it. He’s worked tirelessly in his recovery,” said the Liverpool boss.
“We’re just trying to nudge him along and make sure it’s the right time.
“He had a few weeks of training before he played his reserve game. He looked very capable in that game and he’s had another week of training and I don’t think he can go any further with regards to training.
“His next step is games, so hopefully in the next couple of weeks he’ll get opportunities to play and improve his football fitness.
“Mentally he’s a tough boy. His mental fitness is very strong and he’s looking forward to helping the team.
“It’s a big boost because he’s well in tune with what we’re trying to do here. He’s been kicking his heels on the side wanting to help his mates and the group, so I am delighted to have him back.
“He’s a good guy and has a lot to offer the team, both on and off the field, and it’ll be great to have him back in the squad.”