Lucas setback for Liverpool
Liverpool's bid to regain their Champions League status have been dealt a blow with the news midfielder Lucas Leiva will be out for up to two months.
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The Brazil international has injured the medial ligament in his right knee and it is understood that is likely to sideline him for between six and eight weeks.
That would mean he misses Premier League matches against Everton, Arsenal, West Brom, Fulham, Swansea, Southampton and possibly Sunderland at the very least.
Manager Brendan Rodgers has been experimenting with captain Steven Gerrard in a holding position but a poor first half in Saturday's 2-2 draw at home to Aston Villa prompted the Reds boss to bring Lucas off the bench.
He was only on the field for 20 minutes before injury but during that time Liverpool managed to find a degree of control which had been absent previously.
With Tottenham and Everton breathing down their necks Rodgers may feel there is a now a more pressing need to bolster central midfield as all of his other options there are offensively-minded players like Jordan Henderson, Joe Allen and Luis Alberto.
While the Reds boss ponders potential arrivals one departure is set to be confirmed soon with Sebastian Coates re-joining former club Nacional on loan.
The 23-year-old has been sidelined since tearing an anterior cruciate ligament in a knee while on international duty for Uruguay in August.
Coates is still continuing his rehabilitation but he is already in Montevideo awaiting completion of the move.
Liverpool are prepared to allow the centre-back to continue his rehabilitation in his homeland with a view to him regaining fitness and being able to get some match practice before this summer's World Cup in Brazil.
"It would be beautiful to join Nacional and complete my recovery in Uruguay with my family and friends," the centre-back told Radio El Espectador 810.
"The negotiations can be hard sometimes, and we have to wait a bit."
Coates joined Liverpool from Nacional in August 2011 in a reported £7million deal but struggled to force his way into the first team.
The centre-back has made just 24 appearances in that time, half of which have been in the Premier League, and scored two goals.