Lucas ready to go from strength to strength after Liverpool return

Lucas: Played all but two minutes on his latest return from injury

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Lucas reckons his latest comeback from injury was as good as making his professional debut.

The Liverpool midfielder's August return after knee surgery proved short-lived as a thigh strain ruled him out for another three months.

But, after coming through 88 minutes of Saturday's victory over Southampton, the Brazilian believes his problems are behind him.

He said: "I was really looking forward to the game and the feeling against Southampton was the same as my first match for Gremio.

"I played more minutes than people were expecting and now it is just a question of games and training sessions, that is the only way I will get to the level I was.

"I think it was really positive, especially as it is a year since my first injury. I was really pleased with the performance. I need to improve a lot but that is a good step I have made."

Lucas is now an Anfield favourite after years spent winning over a sceptical crowd.

He said: "Everyone knows it has been a long journey for me to turn around the opinion of people but they really appreciate the work I do for the team and the passion I have for the club."