When Liverpool's Lucas Leiva pulled up during the club's recent preseason friendly with Huddersfield Town, it seemed certain that the notorious Liverpool hamstring bug had claimed another victim. Scan results following the injury have now confirmed everyone's fears: Lucas will be out of commission for about a month with a hamstring strain, and will not play any part in the start of Liverpool's season.
As reported in the Echo, Lucas - who is traveling with the senior squad on their tour of the United States - will receive treatment in California, together with fellow convalescents Joe Gomez and Mamadou Sakho. Lucas' absence, together with the expected departure of Joe Allen, means that a couple of familiar faces may not be around for the tricky opening fixtures of Liverpool's domestic campaign.
Despite the potential unavailability of that pair, barring another catastrophic proliferation of injuries (fate: tempted), manager Jürgen Klopp will not exactly be starved of options in central midfield when Liverpool face off against Arsenal. Newly acquired Georginio Wijnaldum is expected to play a key role, and Marko Grujic has made a positive start to his Liverpool career.
Even as rumors of a move to Turkey persist, and despite age and declining mobility taking their toll, Lucas has proven himself to be a capable and versatile servant for Klopp. Assuming Lucas stays beyond the close of the transfer window, Liverpool supporters could see the return of the club's current longest serving player in time for September matchups against reigning champions Leicester City and up-and-coming overachievers Chelsea. Lucas, like nature, finds a way.
The year is 2057 and Liverpool manager Shamal George turns to Lucas Leiva in an injury crisis— John M O'Sullivan (@NotoriousJOS) July 24, 2016