Sbragia hopeful Cisse will be fit

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Sunderland manager Ricky Sbragia is keeping his fingers crossed that striker Djibril Cisse will be fit for next week's tough trip to Liverpool.

The 27-year-old Frenchman missed Saturday's creditable 0-0 draw at Arsenal with an ankle injury he picked up in training, but Sbragia has revealed he is making progress.

Speaking from Spain, the manager told the club's official website, "It looks like Djib will be okay. We won't take any risks, but he has done some running and he was fine."

The Black Cats head for Anfield on Tuesday evening defending a four-game unbeaten run in the Barclays Premier League which has lifted them eight points clear of the drop zone.

With no fixture this weekend because of Tottenham's involvement in the Carling Cup final, they are currently away on a warm-weather training camp in Jerez, Spain, where Cisse has been working his way back to fitness.

This weekend's break has come at an opportune moment for the Wearsiders with Cisse's strike partner Kenwyne Jones also on the treatment table.

The 24-year-old Trinidad and Tobago international limped off at the Emirates Stadium with a knee problem.

Sbragia said: "Kenwyne has not trained since the game. We are nursing him through. We will have to see how he is later in the week."

Midfielders Steed Malbranque and Teemu Tainio have also missed training in Spain with knocks from the Arsenal game, but they are expected to make the trip to Liverpool, but defender Nyron Nosworthy has been forced to put his comeback on hold.

The 28-year-old tore a hamstring in the 2-1 home defeat by Aston Villa on January 17 and has missed the last six games. He had hoped to play for the reserves in Tuesday night's clash with Wigan, but pulled out after feeling a twinge in training.

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Djibril Cisse
Tottenham Hotspur
League Cup
Kenwyne Jones
Premier League
Nyron Nosworthy
Teemu Tainio
Wigan Athletic
Aston Villa
Steed Malbranque

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