Liverpool’s Brendan Rodgers: Lucas Leiva nearly ready for return
Liverpool's Brendan Rodgers hopes to have Lucas Leiva available for selection for their clash against Southampton next week
Brendan Rodgers has revealed Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva should be in contention to face Southampton on 1 December after recovering from a thigh injury.
The 23-year-old suffered the setback in the opening minutes of the Reds’ 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.
The Brazil international completed 45 minutes of the club’s Under-21 clash against Middlesbrough on Friday, and Rodgers expects to have Lucas back for a hectic December schedule.
“I think after today and a good week’s training, next week he should be ready,” said Rodgers.
“He’ll be a big player for us. He’s got a wonderful football brain, knows the ideas we’re trying to implement here and he’s a real good man.
“He’s worked very hard. He was unfortunate that he got the injury right at the start of the season having worked so hard on his knee, but indirectly his movement is a lot better now with his knee. He’s had extra working time to prepare that and now he looks really strong and fit.
“He’ll play 45 minutes and then we’ll see where we are in the next week or so.”
He added: “We’ve got good players in there. Lucas is a top professional, an international player, and he’s got good experience in this country.
“He knows exactly what we’re trying to do, so when you’ve got someone of that calibre coming back, it certainly makes you better.”