Injured QPR star eyes training ground return

QPR frontman Jamie Mackie is determined to prove his Premier League credentials when he returns to training in the coming weeks.

Mackie is due to have the plaster cast removed from his right leg today, three months after he suffered a double break in a challenge with Blackburn defender Gael Givet.

With Rangers now on the verge of promotion, the 25-year-old is already turning his thoughts to the challenge of regaining full fitness in time for the challenge of top-flight football come August.

“It’ll be a massive boost for me to have the cast off at last,” Mackie told the Times. “I’ve had to put up with it for a long time and I never want to see it again.

“The medical people will assess me again and give me a new target, then hopefully I can train again. I’m going to be back just as good, if not better – I can’t wait to be let off the leash.

“Three or four years ago I was playing in the Conference with Exeter and it was always my dream, even then, to play in the Premier League, so I want to show I’m capable of it.

“The aim is to come back flying for pre-season and I don’t think we’ve got anything extra to prove to the manager – he knows what we can do and that won’t be any different next year.”

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Mackie, who became Neil Warnock’s first permanent signing for Rangers when he joined them from relegated Plymouth last summer, made an instant impact.

He scored on his debut in the opening game of the season against Barnsley, the beginning of a run of eight goals in as many matches.

That purple patch played a key part in propelling QPR to the top of the Championship and also earning Mackie a Scotland call-up for their Euro 2012 qualifier against the Czech Republic.

Although the flood of goals became a trickle as autumn turned to winter, the forward’s energetic style and commitment cemented his status as a crowd favourite at Loftus Road.

And, while Rangers’ FA Cup third round tie at Ewood Park ended his involvement on the field this season, Mackie has enjoyed watching his team-mates maintain the club’s unwavering charge towards the Premier League.

“Of course it’s frustrating when you’re not playing, but in a way it would have been harder if we were losing games and I wasn’t able to influence anything,” he added.

“But I’m still actually loving this season – knowing the lads are taking care of business at QPR has made it easier to focus on my rehab. I feel it’s all coming together at the moment.”