Liverpool's Lucas Leiva 'feels great' and hopes to hit ground running on return to fitness

The Liverpool midfielder has been out of action since the start of February with a groin injury.

Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva has said he needs to be at the same level he was at prior to his injury for him to have a positive impact whenever he returns to the side. 

On a run from late November to early February, the Brazilian was in terrific form in the middle of the park as he provided some necessary steel to what was a lightweight part of the Reds' set-up earlier on in the season.

Lucas returned to the squad for the defeat against Manchester United as an unused substitute, but played an hour of the All-Stars charity game, and given Steven Gerrard is banned for three matches after his sending off for stamping on Ander Herrera - Lucas could be thrown back into the action. 

The midfielder told the Liverpool website: "I was in a very good moment, probably the best moment in the last couple of years, and I had a good run of games.

"The beginning of the season wasn't good for me because I couldn't play much but as soon as I got back in the team I think I helped a lot.

"I don't know if Stevie's suspension will change things because the team were playing well, but I need to be ready and there are a lot of games to play and the FA Cup as well, so everyone will be needed.

"I need to be ready and if I get a chance again I need to be at the same level I was before I was injured."

There have been times over the past few years where Lucas has returned from injury, only to struggle for form and fitness and again, but he says he feels great ahead of his return to the side.

"I feel great. Leading up to the Manchester United game I had a full week of training as well, so it's been two weeks of full training. I was available for the Manchester United game, but probably wasn't able to play the whole game. Now I feel 100%.

"Now it's just a question of getting some minutes and training sessions, so that's what I need and what I'm having. Leading into the Arsenal game that's going to be good because I will have had three full weeks of training and I'm looking forward to it."

It will be interesting to see whether Lucas will be given an opportunity to start against Arsenal this weekend with Joe Allen and Jordan Henderson partnering each other in the middle in recent weeks.

There could be the option of Brendan Rodgers playing the Brazilian along with both Allen and Henderson as he looks to give the Reds a bit more steel in the midfield - as they have been overrun in that area in their past two games. 

A potentially key player returning to fitness is obviously welcome for Liverpool, as they look to turn around a five-point gap to the top four, and try and win silverware via the FA Cup.

Register for LIVERPOOL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch