Mackie “like a new signing” – Jones

Assistant manager Mick Jones says he is “very, very confident” Jamie Mackie will be fit for QPR’s Premier League return.

Unlike Adel Taarabt, Mackie joined the rest of the Rangers squad when they began pre-season training on Thursday.

The forward has been sidelined since suffering a broken leg during the FA Cup defeat against Blackburn in January.

Before that sickening injury, Mackie had scored nine goals in his first 25 QPR appearances and established himself as fans’ favourite. He had also been capped by Scotland.

“We’re going into a tough Premier League with a player that just will not stop working for the cause.”

“It’s great to have him back training with us again – like a new signing – and I really do think he’ll be a crucial player for us this season,” Jones told West London Sport.

“I’m very, very confident he’ll be fully fit for it too. At the moment it’s a case of us holding him back and not letting him do as much as he wants to.

“If there’s one person likely to do too much and put himself at risk, it’s Jamie Mackie. We can’t allow him to do that, so we’re keeping a close eye on him.

“In Jamie we’re going into a tough Premier League with a player that just will not stop working for the cause. He’s a constant menace to defenders and I’ve never known a player with lungs like his – he doesn’t stop going.”

Taarabt, who recently got married, was not expected back last week and may not return to Loftus Road at all.

The player’s agent recently told QPR that Paris St Germain were keen to sign Taarabt, with reports since suggesting the French club have tabled a formal offer.

Jones said: “We didn’t expect Adel back. I’d love him to stay with us and establish himself in the Premier League, but we’ll have to see what happens.”