Lucas Leiva
Leiva could return before the end of the season.

Liverpool have been handed a massive boost in the club's attempts to qualify for the Champions League after receiving positive news regarding the injury plight of Lucas Leiva, Mamadou Sakho and Jose Enrique.

Lucas was expected to miss a significant period of the season after damaging his anterior cruciate knee ligaments against Aston Villa in December, but is already ahead of schedule in his road to recovery.

Sakho hasn't played for Liverpool in 2014 after picking up a tendon injury in his leg, while Enrique has been out since November with a knee problem but both are making progress in their return and according to head of performance Glen Driscoll the trio should be back before the end of February.

"Lucas Leiva was due to be in a brace for six weeks, according to specialists' opinion, but yesterday he was outside running just over three weeks in, which is fantastic and shows just how ahead of schedule he is," he said.

"Mamadou Sakho actually had a tear in his tendon and not the muscle of the hamstring as initially reported. For a whole host of reasons tendons take longer to heal, but he is working hard and progressing," Driscoll added.

"Jose Enrique also had a complex knee issue and following surgery is in the process of achieving his final strength gains before he can return to training.

"Without providing specific dates I would hope that by the end of the month we should start to get the likes of Jose, Lucas and Sakho back."

Without a host of defensive options, with Daniel Agger also out injury, the absentees were threatening to undermine the Liverpool's attempts to finish in the top four with a series of mistakes at the back highlighting the lack of options available to manager Brendan Rodgers.

The 5-1 win over Arsenal last weekend leaves Liverpool three points ahead of fifth place Tottenham and five ahead of Everton in the race for a top four finish, a pursuit which would be enhanced should Rodgers be able to welcome back the trio in the near future.