Macheda returns to United

Striker likely to miss rest of season following loan spell at QPR

Federico Macheda: Striker has returned to Manchester United after injury ended his disappointing loan spell at QPR

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Queens Park Rangers' on-loan striker Federico Macheda is expected to miss the rest of the season due to an ankle injury.

Macheda has returned to parent club Manchester United for treatment on the problem after struggling to make an impact at Loftus Road.

The Italian was signed at the start of the January transfer window by former QPR boss Neil Warnock and has been unable to impress under his successor Mark Hughes.

The current QPR manager signed Bobby Zamora and Djibril Cisse before the transfer deadline and that has seen Macheda slip out of the picture in West London.

He made six appearances in all competitions, but had not featured for the Rs since a brief substitute's outing in the 2-2 draw at Aston Villa at the start of February.

The 20-year-old also allegedly criticised Hughes on Twitter earlier this month after he was left out of the 18-man squad for the 1-1 draw with Everton.

Prior to joining QPR on loan, Macheda had featured six times for United this season, but he has yet to build on his stunning start to his Old Trafford career.

Macheda scored decisive goals on his first two appearances for the Red Devils three years ago and will now have to wait until next season for another chance to establish himself.