Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard believes that Lucas Leiva’s season-ending knee injury was one of the main reasons why the Reds endured a disappointing 2011-12 campaign.
The Brazil international hit top form just before rupturing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee against Chelsea last November, leaving manager Kenny Dalglish with very few midfield options for the remainder of the season.
The 25-year-old made his comeback for Liverpool against Toronta FC in a pre-season friendly last weekend, and again came off the bench against Tottenham Hotspur in Baltimore on Saturday.
''Lucas' injury was a big factor on our season, because when he got the injury he was probably our best player, form-wise,'' Gerrard told the club's official website.
''He was playing superbly well, and he plays that position in the team where he does the ugly work, the work you don't really like to do: breaking up the play, protecting the back four, and when we lose the ball and teams counter-attack, he stops a lot of goals.
''It's great to have him back. He's a great person; he's great for the squad." http://www.sambafoot.com/en/news/33910_gerrard__lucas__knee_injury_cost_liverpool_last_season.html#.UBR1xDTtMp0.twitter