Liverpool midfielder Lucas to return to action

MICHAEL BOTSFORD Associated Press Published:

LONDON (AP) -- After playing only 71 minutes of Premier League football so far this season, Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva is ready to make his return against Southampton on Saturday.

And for the Brazil international, it couldn't come at a better time.

Lucas says "December and January are key months for teams in the league, so it's important for us to get as many points as we can."

Lucas hurt his knee last season, and then injured right thigh in August, keeping him on the sidelines for most of 2012.

Liverpool has struggled without him. The 18-time champions are in 12th place with only three wins in 14 Premier League matches.