Rodgers: Lucas in Liverpool squad against Southampton

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has confirmed that Lucas Leiva will return to the matchday squad for the game against Southampton on Saturday.

The former Gremio midfielder has been sidelined since August 26 due to a thigh injury but returned against Middlesbrough for the Liverpool Under-21s side on Friday.

The Reds boss hailed the return of the Brazil international, who had only just returned from an even lengthier absence before his latest setback, as a “big boost”.

“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,” Rodgers told reporters.

“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.

“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.”

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