Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva initially feared for his career after undergoing knee surgery but after months of rehabilitation he is looking to make a timely return to fitness.

The Brazil international missed more than half of last season following an operation to repair the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in December after he was carried off in the Carling Cup fifth-round win at Chelsea. He has undergone an intensive programme to recover, spending some of his time in his homeland working at former club Gremio.

But it has been a tough struggle for the 25-year-old dealing with his first serious injury. He told Press Association Sport: "It has been very hard for me because I have never been out for a month so you can imagine five months when I can't play and only watch the games."

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