Lucas Leiva thankful on 'difficult' Liverpool return
Liverpool got their Europa League campaign underway in the Third Qualifying Round on Thusday night with a 1-0 win over Gomel in Belarus, a game that marked the return of Lucas Leiva from injury.
Lucas, 25, who suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury in a League Cup match in late 2011 has been working his way back to fitness in pre-season and made a 25 minute appearance in the qualifier.
Having returned to the pitch, Lucas was quick to give thanks to those who supported him during his injury lay-off.
"I've waited a long time to return for Liverpool in an official game. Because of that, these 25 minutes that I was on the pitch were very special," Lucas told Globo Esporte.
"The Liverpool fans who traveled to Belarus to support us gave me a lot of encouragement when I entered the pitch. I can only be thankful. I received a lot of help throughout my recovery.
"The difficult phase is over, now I must just think forward. I am gradually coming into the team and gaining match fitness and confidence. We did not find it easy, even allowing for it being the first game of the season. However, we go home with a win which was our main aim."