Every Liverpool fan's worst fears were confirmed during Brendan Rodgers' press conference ahead of Thursday's Europa League match when the manager reported that Lucas Leiva will miss two to three months with a quadriceps tear. Though there had been speculation Lucas could be out for a number of months due to the injury, there was some hope that the medical staff's decision to let him attempt to play against Manchester City despite suffering the initial injury in pre-match warm-up signaled that it was in fact fairly minor.
In all likelihood that initial injury was a fairly minor strain, one that would have meant Lucas' absence for two to three weeks, but after allowing him to start the match in spite of it he will now be sidelined for a far longer period and with far more damage having been done. After an extended layoff like the one the player went through following surgery to repair a torn ACL, a few minor strains as he sought to work atrophied muscles up to full speed were probably inevitable, and so it's hugely disappointing to see what to all appearances is exceptionally poor judgement by the club's medical staff taking what likely would have been a minor and unavoidable bump on the road to recovery and turning it into a second extended layoff.
Fortunately for Liverpool, the recent arrivals of Joe Allen and Nuri Sahin mean Brendan Rodgers should be better equipped to deal with Lucas' absence this season than Kenny Dalglish was when he went down last Novemeber. Still, it is a massive blow to the short-term hopes of both the player and club, and it's a blow that appears as though it could have been largely avoided.