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The Brazilian midfielder has endured a torrid time with ligament and thigh problems over the last two years, but claims he is back to his best after a positive start to pre-season

Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva is delighted with his pre-season progress, and claims to be feeling 50 per cent fitter than he did last season.

After missing the majority of the 2011-12 season with an anterior cruciate ligament injury, the Brazilian picked up a thigh problem at the beginning of last campaign that ruled him out for three months, and claims he is only now returning to full fitness.

"I'm feeling 50-60 per cent better than I was last season," he told the club’s official website.

"The last six months I played were really important for me. I needed to get games and sessions, and this season now I'm feeling strong and feeling that I'm in the shape I was before the injury.

"Now I've got to improve the fitness and build confidence, but I'm really happy with the way pre-season has started."

The 26-year-old was voted the Reds’ Player of the Season after his last injury-free campaign in 2011, but has made just 38 Premier League appearances in the two years since then.



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