Jürgen Klopp originally confirmed that Lucas Leiva would be injured for 4-6 weeks. His last game was against Manchester City in Liverpool’s unsuccessful Capital One Cup final. He managed to damage thigh muscles while taking a penalty.
“I’m progressing very well. I’m really happy with the way it’s going,” Lucas told Liverpool’s official website. “I’m aiming that after the international break I’ll be close to coming back and hopefully playing a big part in the last part of the season.”
Liverpool will welcome back Lucas with open arms given that he is the club’s only specialist defensive midfielder. Emre Can has been tasked with being the main holding midfielder and has taken it into his stride. He played one of his best games against Crystal Palace, dictating the play and literally running the show.
Lucas is confident that Liverpool can qualify for the next round of the Europa League without him and make it to the quarter finals.
“It was very good – the team is looking really positive and confident. Everything the manager has been asking us in the last few months, we are starting to do every week. Hopefully it will be a good end to the season for us,” the Brazilian explained.
“[United] still have a chance, of course. It’s a good result for us but we now have to go away and perform again. If we approach it in the same way we did the last game against them, I think we have a big chance to go through.
“Hopefully, we’ll get to the final of this tournament because I think it’s a really important one for us,” he said.
Liverpool’s aim this season is to make a way back into Europe’s elite and the most likely, not necessarily the easiest, route is through the Europa League. With Lucas aim to return after the international break he may still have an important role to play this season and Klopp will need a fully fit side to wage war on two fronts.