Liverpool's Lucas in squad for Southampton game
Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has revealed that Lucas Leiva will return to the squad ahead of Saturday's Premier League clash with Southampton at Anfield.
Sidelined since August with a thigh injury, Lucas's absence has been a blow to Rodgers' plans and the manager has welcomed the Brazilian back into the fold.
Rodgers told the club's official website: "Lucas Leiva will return to the squad, which is great news because he's been working very, very hard and played the reserve game last week.
"He's been training for a few weeks and looked very good, so we'll look forward to bringing him back in.
Rodgers expressed his delight at the return of the Brazilian to his first team plans and believes he will recover his previous form.
"He's very much looking forward to it. He's worked tirelessly in his recovery. We're just trying to nudge him along and make sure it's the right time.
"He had a few weeks of training before he played his reserve game. He looked very capable in that game and he's had another week of training and I don't think he can go any further with regards to training.
"His next step is games, so hopefully in the next couple of weeks he'll get opportunities to play and improve his football fitness.
"Mentally he's a tough boy. His mental fitness is very strong and he's looking forward to helping the team.
"It's a big boost because he's well in tune with what we're trying to do here. He's been kicking his heels on the side wanting to help his mates and the group, so I am delighted to have him back.
"He's a good guy and has a lot to offer the team, both on and off the field, and it'll be great to have him back in the squad."