Patience is paying off for Darren McQueen as the fit-again striker prepares to launch himself back into the National League limelight.

It’s more than 300 days since McQueen suffered a serious knee injury playing for Ebbsfleet against FC Halifax. He had surgery and was briefly in contention to make a comeback towards the end of last season.

But that plan was scrapped and, three months on, McQueen admitss that was the right decision.

He said: “The best thing I did was not rush back last season. Giving myself extra recovery has helped me in the long run.

“I didn’t feel right so the gaffer said ‘don’t push it.’

“I just wanted to get a goal in pre-season and I managed that. I’m happy I got through it and I haven’t had any setbacks.

“I’m feeling good. I’m not expecting to be at the same point where I left off but there’s enough games for me to gradually get back into it. To be back playing is a blessing in itself.”

Since joining Fleet two years ago, McQueen has started 32 games and scored 23 goals and he plans to maintain that ratio.

“I want to score 20 goals this season,” he said. “Even though I’m in the league above now, I want replicate what I did when I first came here and I think I’ve got the ability to.”

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