Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher rates crocked midfielder Lucas Leiva as important to their play as Luis Suarez.

The Brazilian international will miss the rest of the season after scans revealed he suffered significant damage to the anterior cruciate ligament in his left-knee during Tuesday night's 2-0 win at Chelsea in the Carling Cup.

"For the last 18 months, in my opinion, he has been our best player," said Carragher.

"Luis Suarez has come in and done great things for the club but Lucas has been his equal in many ways.

"He has been as good as anyone in the team this season and there is no question he will be a big miss."