Jamie Mackie has admitted he’s relieved to be back on the pitch and injury free for QPR, with the striker making his first start in over nine months against Blackburn at the weekend.
Mackie came off the bench in the previous fixture against Fulham, but received his first start since breaking his leg in an FA Cup match-up in January against Rovers.
And the star paid special tribute to Neil Warnock, saying that he will repay the manager’s faith with some top performances this season.
"It felt brilliant,” Mackie said. “I've worked really hard and I was delighted to be back out there with the boys.
"It was a massive day for me. It was a bit ironic that it came against Blackburn. I want to thank everybody that helped me along the way.
"I got some nice comments from people at Blackburn, too. I can't praise their medical staff enough for their help when I got injured in January.
"The gaffer's been quality with me since I've been out injured and has shown a lot of faith in me. He's been willing me to get back. I thought I did well on Saturday and with games I'll get sharper and back to my best.”
The comeback marks a move up into the Barclays Premier League for Mackie, who last played for QPR when they were in the Npower Championship, and while he knows it will take time to get to the necessary fitness to play every game, he’s willing to put the work in to get there.
"I've been doing a lot of conditioning work with the fitness staff,” Mackie explained.
“Obviously it is a different tempo (playing first team football in the Premier League) but I'll get used to it and I'm looking forward to the massive games that are coming up.
"I'm back now and I'm going to improve with every game."