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The 25-year-old midfielder sustained a serious knee injury in December that kept him out of the remainder of the 2011-12 season but has vowed to return to top form next year

Lucas has pledged to return to the form he has previously displayed for Liverpool in the upcoming season after recovering from a career-threatening knee injury.

The Brazilian midfielder missed half of the 2011-12 season after sustaining a cruciate injury in a game against Chelsea and, although he admits he is “lucky” to have recovered from the setback, he is now targeting a return to the level of performance that had him labelled one of Liverpool's most valuable players.

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"I think the hard times have been good for me because I learned a lot about myself," he told reporters.

"I am very lucky to be here and even though I'm starting my sixth season at Liverpool, I still feel fresh and there is no reason for me to think I can't get back to the same level again.

“I want to thank everyone by becoming the player I was before."

The 25-year-old was voted the Standard Chartered fans player of the year for the 2010–11 season in a year where he established himself as a pivotal part of Kenny Dalglish's team.

He continued in that vein in the opening stages of the last campaign, before injury curtailed his involvement.

"I'd been really happy with the way I was playing,” he added.

“Two days before I got injured, I played against Manchester City at Anfield and it was one of the best games that I've played for Liverpool.

“The injury completely stopped that momentum."

And Lucas paid tribute to those around him, adding that “every single one” of his team-mates offered messages of support, concluding: “It's those little things that make you feel stronger. The fans were amazing too.”

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