Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva must overcome psychological hurdle
Thursday 05 July 2012
Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva admits overcoming a psychological hurdle is the next step in his bid to regain full fitness.
The Brazil international has done months of rehabilitation on the physical side after surgery on the anterior cruciate ligament of his left knee in December.
But with the new season looming on the horizon, signalled by the return to training of all the players not involved in summer internationals yesterday, Lucas knows the next test will come when he returns to the pitch.
"The first four weeks I saw my knee it was very bad looking and it comes through your head that you might not be at the same level you were before," he told Press Association Sport.
"But at the same time you see big players who had the same injury come back and be even better.
"There is no need for me to be scared. Rather than stay protecting myself I need to work on my head as well to come back and play the same way I was playing before.
"One of the things which made me strong in the team was how aggressive I was in tackles and things like that so I cannot lose that."
Lucas has split his rehabilitation between the club's Melwood training ground and his former club Gremio in Brazil but now he is back on Merseyside full-time.
He admits he has been working so hard since coming off his crutches that he has actually spent more time in work than he would have done had he still been playing.
"I had less time [to myself] than before," he added.
"When you are playing you have a few days off and we train only in the mornings but I have been at Melwood 9am to 4pm every day.
"The focus has been only the knee and I think that is the only way I will be back quicker and stronger because if I had too many days off I don't think I will be feeling well."
Lucas would like to be fit for the start of the season but as that is in less than a month's time, with a Europa League qualifier on August 2, he will not rush himself back.
"When you start at a stage when you are doing more things you are more exposed to get another injury," he said.
"So I just want to make sure I come back strong and confident because it is the only way I will be back on the level I was before the injury."
Latest in Sport
Arsenal vs Besiktas: Seven reasons why Arsenal could suffer a Champions League upset
Arsenal transfer news: Could Arsene Wenger move for Danny Welbeck, Loic Remy or Edinson Cavani after Olivier Giroud's injury?
Manchester United transfer news: Is Angel Di Maria really worth £59.7m?
10 most expensive players in British football history - were they hits or misses?
MK Dons vs Manchester United League Cup match report: Louis van Gaal is humiliated after Jonny Evans' error sparks drubbing
- 1 Miley Cyrus' homeless MTV VMAs date, Jesse Helt, is wanted by the police
- 2 36-year-old skeleton of dead baby found inside Indian woman
- 3 Pamela Anderson rejects ice bucket challenge because of ALS experiments on animals: 'Mice had holes drilled into their skulls'
- 4 Homer Simpson has taken the ALS ice bucket challenge because of course he has
- 5 The 13 obscure UK laws you didn’t know you were breaking
Exclusive: We share blame for creating 'jihad generation', says Muslim strategist
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
Scottish independence TV debate: Pumped-up Alex Salmond bounces back in bruising second round against Alistair Darling
Jeremy Clarkson is a cultural tumour and needs to be removed, says comedian Frankie Boyle
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?