LEIVA RETURNS

The Brazilian midfielder Lucas Leiva has handed a huge boost to the Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers after returning to training following several weeks out with an injury.

The 25-year-old Brazilian has become one of the integral parts of the Liverpool team over the last few seasons. He has not only been able to break up play, but he has also been instrumental in starting the attacks by playing as a defensive midfielder. He was one of the best players for the Liverpool team under the ill-fated Kenny Dalglish era. Rodgers was hoping to have the player on a regular basis this season.

However, he recently was injured once again and a medical staff put his recovery time at 12 weeks. Now, he has just returned from his injury problems and is expected to be back in to first-team action shortly. The player has made just four appearances this season after suffering a thigh injury during the early part of the campaign. He has not played for the club as the 2-2 draw with Manchester City back in August. The 25-year-old has said that his delighted to be back into full training, while the sentiment was also echoed by the manager ahead of the match with Wigan.

“Lucas has worked tirelessly in his rehabilitation, so he comes back out on to the field in a good moment. He won’t be ready to play for the weekend, but certainly over the next couple of weeks he’ll be very close,” said Brendan Rodgers. "Happy to be back and feeling good. Just get some more training session and I hope I will be available soon," said Lucas Leiva on his return from injury. Liverpool certainly need the services of Lucas badly after they are struggling in the bottom half of the table in the 12th position.

LIVERPOOL WILL MISS LUCAS

The manager of Liverpool, Brendan Rodgers, has said that Lucas Leiva’s injury is not good news for the team and the midfielder’s absence would certainly disturb the team combination. Leiva had injured himself in the match against Manchester City a few days back.

The injury was quite severe and he looked in a lot of pain. According to the medical reports, Leiva might have to go through a surgery and in case of surgery; he would have to be out of the team for the next three months. This is the second big injury that Leiva has discovered in the last 10 months. In November last year, he had injured his knee which kept him out of the game for 7 months.

Rodgers said that it’s pretty disappointing for Leiva to get injured again. He had recovered from his knee injury after working so hard and now, he has got another blow. He would have been gutted at this point of time. But, he has got great temperament and hopefully, he would get rid of this injury pretty soon. On being asked whether Leiva needs a surgery or not, Rodgers said that nothing can be speculated at the moment. Leiva would take the advice of a specialist and then, anything would be decided regarding his surgery.

In the match in which Leiva got injured, Liverpool gave a tough fight to Manchester City and didn’t let the Premier League Champions secure a victory. Both the teams scored two goals each and the match ended in a draw. Luis Suarez and Martin Skrtel scored the two goals for Liverpool. On being asked about the performance of Liverpool in the match, Rodgers said that the team could have won the match, but, the players lost a few chances in the second half and allowed City to comeback in the match. Hopefully, the players would have learnt from their mistakes and would not repeat these mistakes in the further matches.

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SHELVEY IS IMPORTANT

Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva has said that he expects the youngster Jonjo Shelvey to become an important member of the Liverpool squad in the next few years. The former Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish was instrumental in bringing Jonjo Shelvey into the first-team action. He was signed from Charlton athletic for just £ 1 million. Even though he has not been of a great influence in the first full season with the club, the Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva expects him to be instrumental in Liverpool's success in the next few seasons. Lucas Leiva experienced mixed reviews during his initial few seasons as a Liverpool player, but he has grown into a vital component.

He was extremely influential under Kenny Dalglish so much so that Liverpool were experiencing relegation form without the Brazilian international in the second half of the season. He has now successfully recovered from the anterior cruciate ligament injury suffered in the Carling cup match against Chelsea last season. Jonjo Shelvey has had a relatively quiet start to his Anfield career after he has made just 16 appearances and scored only two goals last season. Yet, Lucas Leiva has seen enough in the youngster to suggest that he might become a great player one-day.

"Jonjo is a young player, but he’s been with us for two or three seasons so we have seen every day he has a lot of quality and I think he will be a very good player for this club. He has been very impressive in pre-season and I am looking forward to helping him when he wants me to. Hopefully he will be a great addition this season. My advice to him would be just to keep working hard and when he gets a chance, to try and take it," said Lucas Leiva while on the pre-season tour.

LUCAS WANTS FIRST TEAM FOOTBALL

Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva has said that he is looking to return to the first-team action as soon as possible. The Brazilian midfielder has been absent from the first-team in the second half of the season. He has been a major miss for Liverpool and Kenny Dalglish in the hopes of finishing in the top four, which would have provided them the opportunity to take part in the Champions League after two seasons without the top-level European football. However, it has been recently revealed that Lucas Leiva is close to returning to full fitness, which will allow him to take part in the pre-season tour for Liverpool.

Lucas Leiva was injured in a league cup match with Chelsea back in December. He has been recuperating from the injury for the last six months. He has recently revealed that he is close to returning to full fitness. Even though he has been criticised by the Liverpool fans in the past, Lucas Leiva was extremely influential in the Liverpool team during the first half of the campaign. The Brazil international was a £ 5 million signing by Rafael Benitez back in 2007. He has made more than 120 appearances for the club in the last few seasons.

"I'm in the final stage of my recovery. I've been recovering for six months. I am currently in the physical stage, aiming to be back for pre-season, so that I can be back on the pitch as soon as possible," said Lucas Leiva in an interview given to the Liverpool news website. The 25-year-old is once again expected to be a key member of the Liverpool team especially given that the fitness of Steven Gerrard is once again likely to be a major issue. The 32-year-old is coming to the end of his glittering career.

RONALDO DESERVES WORLD AWARD

Jose Mourinho has declared that his star man, Cristiano Ronaldo, is more worthy of the World Player of the year award for 2012 than Lionel Messi. Messi has won the award the last three years, but Mourinho has tipped Ronaldo as more deserving of the title when it is next awarded.

Mourinho’s claims are based around the impact that Ronaldo has had on Real’s La Liga success this year. Despite Messi outscoring Ronaldo, the argument goes that scoring 46 league goals in a team that won the title should be enough to win the Ballon d’Or award. His impact was enough to guide Real to the league title, whereas Barca and Messi finished a distant second and their only hope of silverware in 2012 comes in the Copa Del Rey final next week.

The Special One declared that “Cristiano has to win the Ballon d’Or, not because he has been the top goalscorer, he was that already last season, but because his goals have delivered a title.”

He went on to claim that Messi’s 50 goals, as with Ronaldo’s 42 last year(when he won the top scorer award), “weren’t worth anything” as they did not contribute towards a league title. His argument has ground in that Ronaldo was indeed top scorer in La Liga last season, and outscored Messi in all competitions too. Yet it was Messi who ran out with the Ballon d’Or, in a season that he and Barca picked up the La Liga and Champions Leageu titles.

Mourinho himself has now won seven league titles in four different countries. He believes that this season’s efforts have been the finest achievement of his career to date. With Spain seen as having Europe’s top two sides at the moment, as well as the world’s top two players it is understandable why. To overcome Barca must make any victory ever sweeter.

LUCAS HAS ANKLE SURGERY

After being confirmed to be out of action until the end of the season, Lucas Leiva has undergone an ankle surgery to repair the anterior cruciate ligament damage he sustained during the match against Chelsea.

Lucas played in the 2-0 win over Chelsea, but he sustained a horrible injury in the process. Despite making into the Carling cup semi finals following the win, one can certainly be confident that Kenny Dalglish would have not played him in hindsight. He has been praising Lucas Leiva lot in recent weeks by saying that the recent form of Liverpool has to be attributed to the Brazilian.

He seems to have come of age of late after performing poorly under the reign of Rafa Benitez. Further, the departure of Mascherano to Barcelona also seems to have helped his cause. The regular run of games that he now gets in the midfield has been one of the main reasons for Liverpool to not feel the absence of Steven Gerrard in recent weeks. However, the injury that he sustained in the match against Chelsea is a crucial one and it will rule him out for the season. Liverpool confirmed that the Brazilian had indeed undergone a surgery and will be starting his recuperation period immediately.

"Liverpool confirmed this afternoon that Lucas had successfully undergone surgery in Brazil on the Anterior Cruciate Ligament injury he sustained at Chelsea last week. LFC medical staff were present during the procedure. Lucas will now begin an agreed rehabilitation programme which will be overseen by the Club's medical team," read a statement on Liverpool's official website. A number of his teammates have been tweeting about the fact that they will be missing him for the next few months, which will be crucial because Liverpool need to qualify for the Champions League.

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