By FOX Sports staff
After moving to Anfield from Gremio in 2007, the 26-year-old was initially maligned by many who believed he was not suited to the Barclays Premier League, which wasn't helped as he struggled for consistency in his first few seasons.
However, he gradually found his feet and established himself as an important member of the Reds first team with his ball-winning ability and tidy distribution, but the last two years have seen him hampered by a series of serious injuries.
Although the Brazil international has since returned from a thigh injury after an eight-month layoff, Rodgers has called for patience with the player as he believes he is slowly but steadily returning to his best form.
"I've been delighted with Lucas," he told the Liverpool Echo. "We were very wary of the fact he had a serious knee injury last season, and then obviously another problem on top of that this season.
"It was important for the team to get him back, but it was important for him that we did so at the right pace and that we paced his recovery right.
"I still believe, having worked with these kind of injuries in the past, that it won't be until the summer, and beyond even, that we see him back at full level."
Rodgers was also keen to stress that Lucas continues to play a key role of Liverpool and hailed his professionalism in his bid to return to full match fitness.
"It is a big credit to him as a professional," the ex-Swansea boss added.
"He has worked so hard, and his attitude and his application has been first class."
Lucas' only silverware at Liverpool so far came last season when they beat Cardiff on penalties to lift the Carling Cup - now known as the Capital One Cup.