Lucas out for three months

Brazilian sidelined until November in new injury setback

Lucas Leiva: The Brazil international was making only his second Premier League appearance since last November

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Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva has suffered a new fitness nightmare after being ruled out for up to three months with a thigh injury.

The Brazilian sustained the problem in the warm-up before last Sunday's draw with Manchester City and limped out of the game after just five minutes at Anfield.

It is a cruel blow for Lucas, whose last season was ended by a serious knee ligament injury in the League Cup win at Chelsea in November 2011.

Lucas said on Twitter of his new injury: "No words to describe my feelings at the moment. It is been hard to be positive but I am sure better days will come. YNWA." (Sic)

Sahin targets top four

The defensive midfielder's absence is also a setback for new manager Brendan Rodgers as he looks to mould his tactics onto his squad.

New signing and former Swansea star Joe Allen was forced to drop into a defensive role against City after Lucas had gone off, with Jonjo Shelvey having come on as a substitute.

Possible surgery

But Rodgers could now opt to give loan signing Nuri Sahin his debut as a starter in this Sunday's Premier League match against Arsenal, who the Turk almost joined.

It remains to be seen whether Liverpool will still decide to send Bolton Wanderers target Jay Spearing out on loan in the wake of Lucas' lay-off until November.

Liverpool will now decide whether or not Lucas' injury requires an operation and the 25-year-old is to see a specialist on Wednesday night.

Rodgers said: "It is very unfortunate. He has worked ever so hard to come back and he has been an outstanding player for me and person off the field as well.

"The indications are two to three months. It is quite a unique injury at the top of his right thigh.

"He has had a scan and we will see a specialist this evening. We'll see if it needs an operation or whether it is just recuperation."