By North-west correspondent Alex Stevens
Lucas Leiva is confident he will have a “big part” to play in the final weeks of the season for Liverpool.
The midfield anchorman has been sidelined since injuring his thigh taking a penalty in the League Cup final defeat to Manchester City on 28 February.
Lucas was part of the Liverpool squad made up of injured and non-international players that flew to Tenerife for a warm-weather training camp last week.
The Brazilian is closing in on a return and is hopeful he will be in contention for a series of crucial fixtures in the final weeks of the season that starts with Saturday’s Premier League clash against Tottenham at Anfield and includes a Europa League quarter-final tie against Borussia Dortmund.
“I’m pushing really hard and working really hard to be back as soon as possible,” Lucas told the Liverpool website. “Time will tell if I will be able to make it.
“It’s going really well, I’m progressing very well. Hopefully it won’t be too long now until I’m back to full training, and hopefully I’ll play a big part at the end of the season.”
Lucas has made 30 appearances for Liverpool this season, 24 of which have been starts, after coming close to leaving the club last summer.
The 29-year-old is convinced the players who travelled to Tenerife will benefit from the trip in the crucial weeks ahead.
He said: “It was a good chance to take our families, to be closer to each other and know each other better. It was a great idea to go out, get a little bit of sun and come back for these last six weeks of the season, which will be very intense.
“We were still working in training and for me, doing rehab. It was just going out to get a bit of sun and change the place a little bit. It’s going to be a very intense six weeks and we are all ready to make the most of it.”
In other Liverpool injury news, Klopp is waiting for the players to return from international duty amid doubts over key attacking quartet.