PATRICK KISNORBO is eyeing a shock final-day appearance at QPR on Saturday, as he bids to end his season from hell on a high note.
The redoubtable Leeds United defender, left, whose physical qualities and whole-hearted atittude have been missed badly at the back end of this term, is hoping to draw a line under his 14-and-a-half month injury nightmare by featuring at Loftus Road, while boosting his hopes of earning a new deal in the process.
The former Leicester City stopper, who recently turned 30, hasn’t played competitively since rupturing his achilles tendon against Millwall in March 2010, but returned to full training earlier this spring, virtually a year after suffering his horror injury.
He was in the provisional squad for Saturday’s clash with Burnley, only to just miss out on a sub’s place and is desperate to be involved this weekend.
Kisnorbo, who won the fans’ player and players’ player gongs last season and earned a place in the PFA League One Team of the Year for 2009-10, said: “It’s been a long year, but I’m back. I was in the squad (for the Burnley game), but unfortunately didn’t make the sub’s bench. That’s how it goes.
“It’s nice to be back training and playing and doing the things I haven’t been able to do for such a long time and I feel good. Hopefully, things can keep going the right way.
“I’ll just train as hard as I can and whether the manager decides to put me on or choose me (at QPR), that’s up to him.
“It’s up to the gaffer. But if I can travel or play some part, I’ll be happy. We’ll see.”
On his future, the Australian international added: “I’m out of contract this year, so I can’t even say where I’ll be next year, although I hope to be here.
“But I have no idea, I haven’t spoken to anyone. Hopefully I’ll have an opportunity next year.
“Hopefully, there’s more highs than lows to come.
“There’s a teriffic fan base here and great people to work with and coaching staff. It’s a great place and a club I’d like to stay at. They’ve been very welcoming to me.”
Meanwhile, Max Gradel was the big winner at the club’s end-of-season members dinner, scooping the two main prizes on the night – the fans’ player-of-the-year award and players’ player accolade.
It followed the 17-goal Ivorian picking up the YEP player-of-the-year award ahead of United’s 1-0 victory over Burnley on Saturday.
Jonathan Howson was named young player of the year and also picked up a community award for his efforts off the field, with the goal of the season accolade won by Bradley Johnson, for his 30-yard screamer in the FA Cup third-round replay loss to Premiership giants Arsenal at Elland Road in January.
● Final-day opponents Rangers could be without the key trio of Paddy Kenny, Clint Hill and Fitz Hall for their seasonal swansong against United.
PFA Championship Team of the Year keeper Kenny missed his first game of the season at Watford on Saturday after injuring his shoulder in the warm-up, while defender Hill was rested and is set to go under the knife for ankle surgery.
Hall hurt his hamstring in the first half against the Hornets and is also expected to miss out.