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By ESPN Staff

Cisse to give Marseille a pre-Christmas gift?

Djibril Cisse could give struggling Marseille a pre-Christmas boost by returning to first-team action before the winter break.

The striker, on loan from Liverpool until the end of the season, will take part in a friendly game for the Mediterranean side tonight, against Ligue 2 outfit Istres.

Providing he suffers no further setbacks, the France international will then meet specialists on Thursday in the hope of getting the all-clear to return to competitive action.

Cisse has been sidelined since the start of June after breaking his leg in a World Cup warm-up game for France against China.

Marseille will hope the former Auxerre frontman's comeback will improve their fortunes in the league - they have slumped to eighth in Ligue 1 after losing five of their last eight games.

They also have problems up front, with Franck Ribery and Mickael Pagis having joined Cisse on the sidelines.

But the club's president, Pape Diouf, is nonetheless wary of rushing Cisse's return to action.

'It will be down to the coach (Albert Emon),' Diouf told L'Equipe TV.

'But we will not hasten the comeback so we are sure he can return at the highest level.

'Djibril is ready, medically. But at this level of competition, it is right to take all the precautions.

'However, Djibril at 60 or 70% of his capabilities can bring us something.'