QPR striker closes in on injury return

Andy Johnson

Andy Johnson - Credit: EMPICS Sport

QPR striker Andy Johnson is nearing his comeback from a knee injury, and could return in time for Rangers’ trip to Millwall later this month.

Johnson hasn’t featured for the Rs since the 1-0 win at Leeds United on August 31, and will miss tomorrow’s clash against Barnsley at Loftus Road.

However, manager Harry Redknapp revealed that the forward is making good progress in his recovery, and could be fit by the end of the upcoming international break.

“We’ll have to see how his knee goes. It’s not too bad, just a little tweak so he could be fit by the time we get back from the international break,” said Redknapp. “Hopefully Andy is closer than Bobby [Zamora], he’s had an op so he’ll be out until Christmas time.”

Winger Matt Phillips is expected to miss the match as he recovers from a recurrence of his arm injury, while defender Nedum Onuoha and goalkeeper Julio Cesar are also out injured.

Redknapp has no fresh injury concerns ahead of the visit of Barnsley, and could be set to name the same side which defeated Middlesbrough 2-0 last weekend.

“The long-term ones are not fit, but everyone who played last week is fine,” added Redknapp. “You need a squad, when we come back we go into a run of Saturday-midweek games. “We’ve got three away games on the spin, tough away games. We go to Millwall, Burnley and Wigan. You need everyone fit so you can rotate your squad and rest one or two.”

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Meanwhile, Redknapp paid tribute to his side’s defensive record this season, ahead of the match which would see them break the club record for consecutive clean sheets.

He added: “It’s come about because of good players. The goalkeeper has been excellent, the back four top class, and everyone in front of them has worked hard to protect them as well.

“It has been a team effort. It’s a good back four, they have defended well and done the jobs they’ve done all their careers.”