Glen Johnson
Johnson has missed six weeks with a thigh problem but is on the road to full recoveryGetty Images/Clive Brunskill

Liverpool defender Glen Johnson is using a rare international break to return to full fitness after nearly six weeks out with a thigh injury.

Johnson played 26 minutes in the 2-1 win over West Bromwich Albion last weekend in his first appearance since August but was unable to join England for their European Championship qualifying double-header against San Marino and Estonia.

The 30-year-old is targeting a return from the start for Liverpool's trip to Queens Park Rangers and after playing in a practice game at the club's Melwood training ground is ramping up his fitness ahead of the resumption of the season.

"My body feels good," Johnson told Liverpool's official website. "I just need some game time.

"We've got a practice match here at Melwood today, so it would be good to get a good 90 minutes in there.

"Other than that I feel good. You're inside doing the stuff you don't really want to be doing. But I'm through that now and hopefully I can stay out on the pitch much longer.

"I just want to take it week by week. I'm back out on the pitch now and I want to stay fit and well and get back into the team and put in some good performances."

The England international added: "It is strange for me as I've not been too used to it - I'm normally away.

"It's different. I'm training with the Academy lads and some players who I've never met before. It's good and it's different - of course, I'd rather be away on international duty.

"But we've got some fantastic players, and it's good to see that. It's good for them to step up and train with some members of the first team. It's a different situation, but it's good for everyone."

The former Chelsea and West Ham United full-back is in the final year of his contract at Anfield but negotiations are understood to have slowed regarding a new deal.

Johnson's age and recent injury history suggests Liverpool may be frugal when offering fresh terms, but the Reds defender is trying to ignore speculation regarding his future.

"It's very quiet. I am just concentrating week by week and not thinking about it. Of course I want to stay. But, like I say, I just worry about this week, this week and then worry about next week, next week. That is how I live my life," Johnson told the Liverpool Echo earlier this month.