New setback for QPR winger Cook

By Ben Kosky QPR assistant boss Mick Jones is confident Lee Cook will bounce back after a fresh injury blow ruled the winger out until late September. Cook is facing at least two months on the sidelines following a recurrence of the knee problem that forc

By Ben Kosky

QPR assistant boss Mick Jones is confident Lee Cook will bounce back after a fresh injury blow ruled the winger out until late September.

Cook is facing at least two months on the sidelines following a recurrence of the knee problem that forced him to miss more than half of last season.

Injuries have hampered the 27-year-old's progress ever since he returned to Loftus Road for a third spell in 2008, but Jones insisted: "He's got the character to come through it again and I'm certain he will.


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"Lee's already in the throes of rehab. It's unfortunate because he's had serious injuries before and this is the last thing he needs now - it's a bad time for him.

"It's difficult to say exactly how long he'll be out. We all like Lee and we're disappointed for him - he's a very dedicated boy and he's very popular in the dressing-room.

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"He's shown tremendous character over his career. He's one of those players that everyone in the game respects because they know what he's been through and, as I said, I'm sure he will come through it again."

Meanwhile, goalkeeper Paddy Kenny was expected to feature in Rangers' tour of Italy this week, despite missing last Friday's 3-1 win at Torquay with a thigh strain.

The summer signing from Sheffield United had been listed to play at Plainmoor, despite undergoing surgery on a mouth abscess earlier in the day, but pulled a muscle during the warm-up.

"It's not a major concern, but losing two or three key players at this stage isn't healthy," added Jones. "We want to make sure we get through the rest of pre-season unscathed.

"The one thing you don't want is having players who you think will be in your team unavailable for that first game of the season. Fitness levels are the most important aspect you look for.

"It's important that fringe players get their fitness levels high so that, if they're needed, they'll be ready. The games have been competitive and we were expected to win them, which we have, so things are going quite well."

Striker Leon Clarke also picked up a thigh strain at Torquay, but has been included in the squad that travelled to Italy for friendlies against Equipe Romagna on Wednesday and Ravenna later this week.

TEENAGE midfielder Max Ehmer snatched a late equaliser as a QPR reserve side drew 1-1 at Boreham Wood on Saturday.

Rangers, who were captained by Rowan Vine, rarely threatened the Wood goal, although Ehmer's lob over the home keeper was cleared off the line early in the second half.

Elvijs Putnins was the busier goalkeeper, denying Greg Morgan and Ricky Case before substitute Leon Hunter broke the deadlock, sidefooting home in the 71st minute.

But the Rs levelled when they broke down the left with a minute remaining and Ehmer rammed into the net from close range.

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