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The comeback kids!

Jones and McKee back for Queens' play-off push

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By Euan Maxwell
Dumfries and West
The comeback kids!

QUEEN of the South winger Isaiah Jones admitted he feared his season was over when he suffered a hamstring injury against Arbroath last month.

The influential on-loan Middlesbrough player looked set to miss the crucial business end of the campaign after he pulled up at Gayfield.

Thankfully for him and his teammates, instead he was able to make a welcome comeback as a second half substitute in the Doonhamers’ 3-1 Scottish Cup defeat to Hibernian on Monday night.

Despite the disappointment of being knocked out of the cup, Jones is just glad to be back on the pitch and is now aiming to help the Palmerston Park men claim a Championship promotion play-off spot.

Jones said: “It’s great to be back but it wasn’t the result we wanted against Hibs. We prepared well all week but just didn’t take our chances. We were up against a top side who are arguably the third best team in Scotland.

“When the injury happened, I thought my season was finished. But thankfully I’ve recovered quickly. I’m thankful to the physios at Middlesbrough, they’ve got me back as quick as possible.

“I feel good and thought I did well on Monday night but I’m not up to full match fitness yet but that’ll come.

“I’m just delighted to be back and to try and get our goal of the play-offs for the end of the season.

“It’s five cup finals now and we’ve got two games against Inverness and Raith Rovers here at Palmerston so hopefully we pick up two victories to get us closer to our play-off dream.”

Monday’s cup tie also saw the long-awaited return of central midfielder Joe McKee. The 28-year-old has been out of action since the middle of January but was brought on for the final stages against the Hibees.

WELCOME BACK . . . Joe McKee returned on Monday night after a lengthy lay-off

McKee admitted getting over a calf injury had taken longer than expected but now he’s ready to play his part for the final five matches of the campaign.

He said: “It’s been a long time out, I didn’t expect to be out for eight weeks with this injury but I had a couple of setbacks. Originally I was told I would only be out for half the time I was out.

“I tried to come back and train but it was just the area of where the injury actually was which made it difficult. It’s just good to get on the pitch and get by that now.

“All five of the matches we have left are cup finals. We’ll take it as we have done all season, just a game at a time. It’s going to be a challenge getting back into the starting side as they’ve done brilliantly.

“I’ve spoke to the gaffer a couple of times during the run they’ve been on. From my point of view, the most important thing is about the team winning. It’d be nice to get back into the team but at the end of the day all I can do is work really hard to be in consideration.”

Queens host Inverness Caley Thistle on Saturday with a 3 pm kick off. They then welcome Raith Rovers to Palmerston Park on Tuesday with a 7 pm kick off.

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