Lucas-replacement makes Anfield return

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Liverpool have recalled Jonjo Shelvey from his loan spell at Blackpool amid fears that Lucas Leiva is set to be ruled out for the rest of the season with a suspected cruciate ligament injury.

The 24-year-old Brazilian midfielder was stretchered off in Tuesday's Carling Cup victory over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, and the club is now waiting for the results of a scan.

Thankfully, Reds boss Kenny Dalglish recruited well in the summer, and has a number of alternative options in his midfield ranks - but Lucas has played a lead role alongside Charlie Adam for much of the season, and so will be a huge miss for Liverpool.

"I will have the scan to see how bad my injury is," Lucas posted on his Twitter page. "Just send positive energy and I hope it won't be too bad."

As a result of Lucas' injury, Dalglish has opted to recall Shelvey, who was enjoying a productive spell with Ian Holloway's side, having scored six goals in nine appearances for the Tangerine Army.

The 19-year-old recently expressed his desire to stay at Bloomfield Road for the remainder of the season, as he had found first-team opportunities limited at Anfield since his £1.7million arrival from Charlton in the summer of 2010.

"It is a shame [he has to go back] because Liverpool are playing exceptionally well, and I had been hoping that might leave an opportunity for us to keep Jonjo until the end of the season," Holloway told the Blackpool Gazette.

"All I know is that Jonjo is a fantastic young man who has all sorts of ability. I have no doubts whatsoever he will be a top, top player.

"I just hope he is involved [at Liverpool], because when someone invests that amount of money in a lad so early, they often end up getting stacked and racked and lost."

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Jonjo Shelvey
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