Lucas on the mend after operation

Lucas Leiva has returned to Liverpool after spending six weeks in Brazil, where he underwent surgery to repair his torn cruciate ligament.

The South American midfielder picked up the injury in The Reds’ Carling Cup clash with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge back in November, and is set to be sidelined for the remainder of the season.

Despite the hefty setback Lucas is remaining upbeat, and has spoken of his rehabilitation upon his return to Anfield.

“I am still a long way away, but the knee is getting better and the rehab is going well,” he told the club’s official website.

“I have to make sure I complete a perfect rehab and be back as soon as possible.

“The next stage is to get the knee moving and in the next few weeks I’ll start to walk again.

“Hopefully in a month’s time I’ll start in the gym and my programme and be able to work with weights.

“When you’re on crutches you cannot do too much, so I can’t wait to start my programme and get in the swimming pool and things like that.

“The physios and the doctors have told me the rehab is going well and progressing well. I am doing everything I can to help my knee recover,” he concluded.

Lucas has an excellent start to the season before his injury, and the midfielder’s absence has highlighted how much of an important player he has become at Anfield.

By Gareth McKnight