Lucas nears Liverpool return

Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva is set to make his return from a thigh injury when he turns out for the U21s against Middlesbrough on Friday.

Lucas, 25, spent much of last season on the injury list, after suffering a cruciate ligament injury in December. Although recovered in time for the new season, he has only made two appearances, picking up his thigh problem in August, and Liverpool will bring him back slowly to ensure he is fully fit before appearing in the first team.

Assistant Manager Colin Pascoe told the official club website:

“The next step is getting his strength up in training and hopefully he can get 45 minutes in the reserve game on Friday.

“He’s been unfortunate with a lot of injuries. I know that’s part and parcel of football but it can get you down and it’s nice to see Lucas with a smile on his face.”

Lucas is now in his sixth season with the Merseyside club, but due to injury issues, only made 12 league appearances last term.

Liverpool will need as many players fit as possible in upcoming weeks, with ties away to Swansea and Tottenham in the League, and Young Boys and Udinese in the Europa League.

The Reds ended their run of five matches without a win at the weekend, when they defeated Wigan 3-0 at Anfield.

See what the expert tipsters at OLBG are tipping on Swansea v Liverpool

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