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The Brazilian defensive midfielder has missed three months of the season with a thigh injury but could make an appearance in Brendan Rodgers' side in the coming weeks

Liverpool coach Mike Marsh has confirmed that midfielder Lucas Leiva is nearing a return to first-team action.

The former Gremio player has been absent since August with a thigh injury, but stepped up his rehabilitation with an hour-long outing for Liverpool’s Under-21 side on Friday.

"Lucas came back and played an hour last week in an U21 fixture so he could be available sooner rather than later," Marsh told the club's official website.

"Everyone is looking forward to welcoming him back and getting him on the pitch in a first-team shirt.

"Fortunately we're blessed with a lot of central midfielders so there's no rush to get him back in - when the time is right I'm sure the boss will put him in when he thinks it will benefit Lucas and the team.”

Marsh believes Lucas could be involved in the following weeks, and praised the mental strength and resolve of the Brazilian during his long road to recovery.

He continued: "He's not far away at all - if he gets a good week in training while we're away in London, he won't be far away from being included in the next game or two.

"He's a Brazilian international, he moved away from home when he was very young - he is a very mentally strong player. We're looking forward to having him back."

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