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The return of Lucas Leiva was something we'd all anticipated ahead of the new season, and to see him suffer another setback--albeit a slightly less serious one--was extremely disappointing. It was no different for the player, who's now tasked with making a second return to action in hopes that this time it's for good.
"It's been the worst experience of my career because I've never had experience of injuries. The knee injury was bad because it's a long-term injury and I had to recover for seven, eight months. But this one has been worse, because I'd got so close. I was feeling well, feeling fit. To have to wait again and start another rehab, it's been very difficult.
"I've just got to try and be positive. There is nothing I can do, just try to get right again and not rush, be with the family and try to be strong. It's important not to rush, to get back when I really feel able to play 100 per cent."
One of the better parts of Being: Liverpool has been the additional insight into the lives of the players that we wouldn't otherwise be privy to. For all the criticisms about the superficiality and the lack of depth in the club's operations, we've been able to take a look at what things are like away from the pitch, and other than a few awkward moments here and there, it's been enjoyable to see a more well-rounded view of the players involved.
What's made that difficult, at least in the case of Lucas, is that we all know what's coming. He paints a picture of a good family man, one who's committed to his wife, son, and teammates, and someone who genuinely feels priviliged to play for Liverpool. We get a sliver of the work he's done to get back into full fitness, with appearances documented both in the preseason and as the Premier League season gets underway. His form wasn't quite to the level of the Lucas we saw last season, but making a return at the time he did was a tribute to the measures he took to ensure he'd be back as quickly as possible.
And either this week or next we're going to see him fall injured again, this time with a thigh injury that'll span from the Manchester City match in the second week of the season to now, with a return not yet on the cards. He's still visible even in his absence, as few matches have gone by that we haven't thought about how much the squad could have benefited from his presence. We've all enjoyed seeing Joe Allen flourish during his first few months with the club, but we're likely all looking forward to the day that he does so alongside the Brazilian midfielder that's made himself a mainstay and been earmarked as one of the "disciples" of Brendan Rodgers' Liverpool.
So to read quotes of him talking about his time with the club during an open forum and his anticipation at returning is both encouraging and depressing; I think we're at the point where most, if not all, accept that Liverpool are much better with Lucas in the squad than they are without, so to see him talk about getting back to 100%--whenever that might be--is nice. What's depressing is that we don't quite yet know when that'll be, and the possibility that he gets hurt again is so bothersome as to make me want to put him in a bubble forever. Also depressing that we were yet again snubbed to an open forum for supporters and websites. What gives, FSG? WE'RE ON THE SAME CONTINENT AS YOU SHOW SOME LOYALTY
For now, we can just wish Lucas the best in his recovery--we don't talk too much about anyone deserving anything, but if there's a man that deserves to be back at his best, it's Lucas Leiva.