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Brum's rush for Vine comeback

PUBLISHED: 12:50 18 June 2008 | UPDATED: 13:17 24 August 2010

BARNSLEY, UNITED KINGDOM - FEBRUARY 26:  Rowan Vine of Queens Park Rangers in action during the Coca-Cola Championship match between Barnsley and Queens Park Rangers at Oakwell on February 26, 2008 in Barnsley, England.  (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)

BARNSLEY, UNITED KINGDOM - FEBRUARY 26: Rowan Vine of Queens Park Rangers in action during the Coca-Cola Championship match between Barnsley and Queens Park Rangers at Oakwell on February 26, 2008 in Barnsley, England. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)

2008 Getty Images

By Ben Kosky INJURED QPR striker Rowan Vine was handed an extra incentive to regain his fitness when next season s fixtures were published on Monday. Doctors told Vine to expect six months on the sidelines when he broke his left leg in a training ground a

By Ben Kosky

INJURED QPR striker Rowan Vine was handed an extra incentive to regain his fitness when next season's fixtures were published on Monday.

Doctors told Vine to expect six months on the sidelines when he broke his left leg in a training ground accident in April.

And, if that prediction proves accurate, the Rangers frontman could be in line to make his comeback when the team travel to Vine's former club Birmingham City at the beginning of October.

The Rs meet Birmingham again at Loftus Road later the same month and Vine will be anxious to prove a point to Blues boss Alex McLeish, who pulled the plug on his St Andrew's career after less than a year.

"Hopefully I'll be fit and raring to go for those two games in October. I'll be going out to try and show people what they missed out on and what I can do," Vine told the Times.

"I think the fans at Birmingham were quite happy with me when we won promotion and I didn't get much opportunity in the Premier League under Steve Bruce, but you take it on the chin.

"I don't think Alex McLeish ever saw me train or play, but he was quick to make up his mind that I wasn't what was required and there wasn't a place in the team for me.

"You don't want to put a timescale on this and I'm still holding onto the thought of not missing too much of the season. But if you offered me the start of September to be playing again, I'd grab it off you now."

Vine's recovery has proceeded according to plan so far and on Monday he had two screws removed from his shin at Princess Grace Hospital, Paddington.

He has already begun gym work and gentle jogging at QPR's Harlington training ground - which remains virtually deserted until the rest of the squad return for pre-season training at the end of this month.

"It's been a bit strange with no-one else being there, but I'm just trying to get on with it," Vine reflected. "Overall the time hasn't gone as slowly as I thought it would.

"Everything's been really positive with the rehab and bone healing. There are still a couple of screws underneath my knee, but those aren't giving me any problems and I feel like we're getting to where we need to be.

"Iain Dowie's been in a few times, we had a brief chat and he told me he wants me back as soon as possible to be part of his squad. That's good to hear and it's what I'm aiming for."

Dowie's reign as QPR boss will begin with a visit from Barnsley on Saturday August 9 and Rangers also face Yorkshire opposition in their next two games - Sheffield United away and newly-promoted Doncaster Rovers at home.

Dowie goes back to his former club Coventry on September 20 and comes face to face with two more ex-employers in late November, when Rangers host Charlton and travel to Crystal Palace within the space of four days.

The return game against Charlton takes place on Boxing Day, with another derby at home to Watford two days later. Rangers complete their Championship campaign away to Preston on Sunday May 3.

"I don't think it makes a massive difference who you play in the first game, or whether you're home or away, in terms of pressure," added Vine. "There are a lot of good teams who will be challenging and hopefully we'll be one of them."

QPR have announced a pre-season trip to Scotland at the end of July after their planned friendlies against Fiorentina and Bologna fell through.

Rangers will now face Scottish Premier League duo Falkirk on Saturday July 26 and Kilmarnock three days later.


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