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Page last updated at 09:23 GMT, Tuesday, 4 August 2009 10:23 UK

Mackail-Smith aims for game time

Craig Mackail-Smith
Mackail-Smith scored 26 goals in all competitions last season

Peterborough United striker Craig Mackail-Smith is confident he can still make an impact against Derby on Saturday despite his injury problems.

The 23-year-old is set to play against Sunderland on Tuesday.

Mackail-Smith told BBC Radio Cambridgeshire: "Watching the boys working hard ahead of the Championship has been difficult.

"Hopefully I'll get a good 60 minutes against Sunderland, score a couple of goals and be ready for Derby."

Mackail-Smith is yet to kick a ball in pre-season following a recurrence of his body alignment problems.

George Boyd, Shaun Batt or Ben Wright could partner Aaron Mclean in his absence.

"Over the summer I've tried resting and then doing a bit of work, but it's still the same," he said.

"There's nothing I can really do except to keep on top of it, continue to manage it and hope I can play."

Mackail-Smith's body alignment issues put pressure on his hips, resulting in periodic niggles such as his current groin problem.

The former Dagenham man is set to play at least an hour against Sunderland and will then be assessed ahead of Posh's Championship opener at Derby.

"It hasn't been as severe as it was two years ago, it's just been hard to shake off," he said.

"It's starting to feel really good now so, fingers crossed, all will be well ahead of the Derby game."

Meanwhile, Dean Keates could feature against Sunderland, should he shake off a knock.

Boss Darren Ferguson is set to play many of his fringe players with the Derby match only a few days away.

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