Monday 09 July 2012
Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva says he will be back to his very best when he makes a long-awaited return from injury.
The 25-year-old's 2011/12 season ended prematurely in November when he damaged his anterior cruciate ligament against Chelsea in their Carling Cup tie.
"I'm looking forward to starting the season and being able to play"
- Lucas Leiva
But he is back at the club's Melwood training ground now and will take part in pre-season training along with all the other players as they seek to impress new manager Brendan Rodgers.
"I'll be back at the same level that I was because I am working really hard to recover and the players that I have beside me will help me," Lucas told Liverpool's official website.
"I just have to be patient again. I'm still in rehab. I've been training with the team for a few days. There is still a long way to go and a lot of work to be done but I am very happy to be able to train and I'm looking forward to the new season.
"I will be trying every week to recover and to progress. It's still four or five weeks until the start of the season and our Europa League games, so it's still too early to say if I will be ready but I'm looking forward to starting the season and being able to play.
"I'm looking forward to meeting the players coming back from the Euros and starting the season. I think everybody is really, really excited for the new season."
Lucas admits it was hard work watching his colleagues last season while being unable to do anything to help them, but he is looking forward to a fresh start under former Swansea boss Rodgers.
"It's always hard to watch on television, especially at a time when I was really enjoying my football and playing with a lot of confidence," he added.
"It was hard because I've never had an injury like that and I hope I won't have again.
"The players are really happy with the way we are training and the sessions. We have a new manager so I think everyone will try to impress him and try to be on the team but the most important thing is to build a strong squad because we have a lot of games during the season.
"I think everyone will have a chance to prove themselves."
Liverpool start the new Barclays Premier League season with a trip to the Hawthorns to play West Bromwich Albion on Saturday August 18th.