Cisse offers Smith support

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Liverpool striker Djibril Cisse has given Alan Smith words of encouragement following the Manchester United player's leg break on Saturday.

Smith was ruled out for the rest of the season and England's World Cup campaign after breaking his leg and dislocating his ankle while trying to block John Arne Riise's free kick during United's 1-0 FA Cup defeat at Anfield.

The former Leeds United striker had a successful operation to repair the damage on Sunday, but he still faces a recovery period of up to a year.

The former Auxerre hit-man knows all too well what Smith is going through after recovering from an equally nasty leg break last season and the French star offered his support to the Yorkshireman.

"I wanted to say to him I know how he is feeling, and that everything will be okay for him, like it has been for me," Cisse said.

"I just told him to be strong. It is hard, so hard for him at the moment, I have been through exactly this and it is difficult to cope with what is going through your head.

"I saw the break and it looked bad, but I am proof that he can recover well and get even stronger afterwards.

"When I saw him lying there on the pitch in agony, it brought back to me what happened. A year ago, I was recovering from a terrible break, and now I am playing again.

"I am sure Alan will do the same. The hardest part is when your team-mates are going out on the pitch, and you know that you cannot.

"That is so difficult, and it is when you have to be strong in your head.

"But Alan strikes me as that kind of person, someone who is tough and can deal with this. I told him that he will get through it."