• Premier League

Lucas had career fears during injury nightmare

ESPN staff
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Lucas battles with Gaston Ramirez during his comeback match against Southampton in December © PA Photos
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Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva says he feared his career might be slipping away from him during his injury torment throughout 2012.

Lucas' initial comeback from an anterior cruciate ligament injury, sustained one year ago, was compounded at the start of this season when he picked up a thigh strain.

His doctor recommended he stay in bed for a week, but the prognosis for recovery was a much longer three-month journey.

The Brazilian is now back in the Reds' starting XI but only managed 60 minutes in last weekend's 3-1 loss to Aston Villa.

The holding midfielder credits manager Brendan Rodgers' regular communication with him as a key motivating factor during the dark days of his injury troubles - support Lucas says he desperately needed.

"My first injury was a huge blow, but the second simply left me shattered," the 25-year-old Lucas said. "Players can have muscle injuries after knee surgery but mine was not only severe but also happened in the other leg!

"The worst part was when the club doctors told me I was going to be out for three months. I didn't expect to be sidelined for so long.

"For seven days I had to lay down at home, knowing I had hurt myself quite badly but at the same time without the proper ways to divert my mind. Even picking my son up was not recommended. It goes without saying that I feared for the consequences for my career.

"Of course I knew Brendan Rodgers' work at Swansea. Everybody appreciated they played quality football without fear during his time there, so it was interesting to see him coming to Anfield.

"I really appreciated it when he reassured me about my importance for the club. His support was crucial during my recovery."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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