LUCAS LEIVA is poised to hand Liverpool a significant injury boost by returning from injury by the end of the month.
Lucas has been sidelined since suffering a thigh injury during the warm-up to the Anfield clash with Manchester City on August 25 which forced him off after only five minutes.
It was only the Brazilian’s fourth game back after cruciate knee ligament damage sustained at Chelsea last November ruled him out for the remainder of last season.
The 25-year-old has resumed work on the training pitches at Melwood and is ready to ramp up his rehabilitation.
And Brendan Rodgers is confident the midfielder will be in first-team contention ahead of schedule, well in time for the hectic festive schedule.
"Lucas has been out on the field in the last week or so which is great," said the Liverpool manager. " We’re starting to open up his running.
"He’s not doing multi- directional movements yet but he’s doing a lot of straight line running and endurance work.
"I’m anticipating maybe another three weeks but his professionalism is great and he’ll get back probably sooner than is anticipated."
The absence of Lucas and the recent three-match suspension of Jonjo Shelvey has given an extended opportunity to Nuri Sahin in midfield.