Lucas Leiva injury will test Liverpool admits Kenny Dalglish

 

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish admits the club will be tested by the absence of injured midfielder Lucas Leiva.

The Brazil international's season has been curtailed by a cruciate knee ligament injury sustained in the Carling Cup quarter-final victory over Chelsea in midweek.

Lucas has been one of the Reds' best players over the last two seasons and in the last fortnight, in particular, the 24-year-old has shown his worth with impressive performances against Chelsea in both the Barclays Premier League and Carling Cup wins and also in the 1-1 draw at home to Manchester City last Sunday.

It leaves a hole in central midfield which will take some filling.

"It is a huge disappointment for everybody but more importantly for Lucas," said Dalglish.

"He's had the scan and we will assess it and decide where is the best place he has to go and where he is more comfortable and they'll do what they have to do.

"We have a great deal of sympathy for Lucas. He's been playing well for us but it is part and parcel of football I suppose.

"We're not the only club who has an injury which means we have to fulfil our obligations by using the squad.

"He has been playing really well. We are disappointed he has picked up an injury but it is not career-threatening.

"Lucas is not moping about feeling sorry for himself. We can do that, we can feel sorry for him.

"But we cannot feel sorry for ourselves and we have plenty of people who can have a go and won't let us down.

"You saw at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday night there were a lot of really good performances.

"It is at times like this you are tested but we have been happy with the squad and the results we have had reflect that."

Dalglish's immediate problem is to replace Lucas in midfield for Monday's match at Fulham.

He had forged a successful central midfield partnership with summer signing Charlie Adam, undertaking the defensive anchor role to allow the Scotland international to play a more expansive game.

The two were paired together for 12 of Liverpool's 13 Barclays Premier League matches this season and were only broken up by a one-match suspension to Lucas.

On that occasion, the 1-1 draw at home to Norwich on October 22, Steven Gerrard filled a more orthodox midfield role - having made his first start of the season the previous week against Manchester United.

Unfortunately for the Reds it was the last time they saw their captain on the field as an ankle infection has sidelined him since and he will not be ready to return at Fulham.

"Stevie is still progressing really well - without putting a date on his comeback - but we have to manage it," said the Scot.

Jay Spearing deputised for Gerrard when he was injured at the end of last season while Jordan Henderson is comfortable in central midfield and Dalglish has also recalled Jonjo Shelvey from Blackpool.

"We are not going to start dancing on someone's grave; at the end of the day the boy is injured but we have adequate replacements there," said the Reds boss, who ruled out a recall for Alberto Aquilani, on loan at AC Milan.

"Jay has done really well since I came in here and we do trust him.

"We believe in him and we will stand by them (the players) as long as they go out there and give what they have to give."

PA

Arts and Entertainment
TVShow's twee, safe facade smashed by ice cream melting scandal
News
newsVideo for No campaign was meant to get women voting
Sport
Wayne Rooney talks to the media during a press conference
sport
Arts and Entertainment
tv
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Alexis Sanchez celebrates after scoring his first goal for Arsenal in the Champions League qualifier against Besiktas
sportChilean's first goal for the club secures place in draw for Champions League group stages
News
i100
News
Down time: an employee of Google uses the slide to get to the canteen
scienceBosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder
Arts and Entertainment
Amis: 'The racial situation in the US is as bad as it’s been since the Civil War'
booksAuthor says he might come back across Atlantic after all
Extras
indybest
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

A tale of two writers

Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

Should pupils get a lie in?

Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

Prepare for Jewish jokes...

... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

A dream come true for SJ Watson

Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
10 best cycling bags for commuters

10 best cycling bags for commuters

Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

Paul Scholes column

Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?