In a season where Liverpool have suffered their fair share of injuries, another blow has hit Jurgen Klopp's side with news that Lucas Leiva has suffered a torn quad muscle - ruling him out for around six weeks.
Leiva, who was superb playing in the unfamiliar centre back role against Manchester City in the Capital One Cup final is believed to have sustained the injury during the 120 minutes of the contest, and then aggravated it further when he stepped up to take his penalty in the shootout last Sunday.
Such was the level of Leiva's assured performance, it was thought that central defence could become a permanent position for the Brazilian. He played in the same role against West Ham in the FA Cup fourth round replay and looked equally comfortable. The only thing that blotted his appearance on that occasion was conceding the late foul which led to West Ham scoring the winner in extra time.
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The 29-year-old arrived at Liverpool in 2007 with big wraps, but it is up for debate whether he has truly lived up to the potential. Often he is the "whipping boy" when the team performs poorly, but that comes with the territory of being a defensive midfielder, which can be a thankless task in itself.
In Brazil, he was known as a box-to-box player, but has rarely played in that role in the Premier League. He has frequently been linked away from Liverpool in recent years, although has stayed at the club along with Martin Skrtel to become the two longest serving players in the current squad.
Despite the injury setback to Leiva, there is positive news on the defensive front with Mamadou Sahko, Dejan Lovren and Martin Skrtel all returning to full fitness recently. So while Lucas playing in central defence might have been a stop-gap measure, it will be reassuring for Jurgen Klopp to know he has players who feel comfortable in playing in more than one position.
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