Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva will miss the rest of the season with a knee injury, the club have confirmed.
The Brazilian suffered the blow during the club's Carling Cup quarter-final against Chelsea and will undergo surgery following the Anterior Cruciate Ligament injury.
The midfielder's impressive performances have been at the cornerstone of The Reds' revival under Kenny Dalglish, making 47 appearances last season as they recovered from their worst ever start to a Barclays Premier League campaign to finish sixth.
Featuring in all but one of the club's league games this term, Lucas has helped Liverpool keep pace with the likes of Chelsea and Arsenal in the pursuit of qualification for the Champions League.
Midfielder Jonjo Shelvey has been recalled from his loan spell at Championship side Blackpool, despite having netted six times in 10 appearances for the Tangerines, to help bare the loss of the central-midfielder.
With the January transfer window approaching, and Lucas having proved himself indispensable to the side, Dalglish may be tempted to invest in a replacement for the remaining months of the season.
The likes of Seydou Keita, Yann M'Vila and Lassana Diarra have previously been linked with a switch to Liverpool and as the club's financial might has showed over the past twelve months, where they've shelled out over £100 million on new players, the club aren't afraid to delve into the market when required.
However, the Scot may opt to promote one of the club's talented youngsters with Jay Spearing, who made 20 appearances last season following the sale of Javier Mascherano, likely to be called upon.
The club's desire to part with midfielder Alberto Aquilani permanently makes a possible recall from his loan spell with AC Milan unlikely, as a clause in the Italian internationals' contract states he has to feature 25 times for the Rossoneri before a longer-term deal can be reached, with the 27-year-old currently nine appearances short.
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