Mackie netted a second-half wonder goal against Cyprus in Larnaca which he insists made all of his gruelling rehabilitation work worthwhile.
Cruelly crocked playing for QPR against Blackburn in January, the 26-year-old hit the depths of despair.
But the thrilled forward was oozing with delight and said: "It's been a long road back for me and this feels really special.
"I have a lot of people to thank for getting me back to a level where I can once again play for my country.
"The lads have welcomed me back with open arms.
"I missed seven games including the bulk of the qualifiers and that was extremely hard for me. Missing those games in the run-in to Euro 2012 was harder for me to cope with than missing matches for my club.
"The qualifiers were massive and mentally that was a hard time for me.
"It's nights like this that make it extra special for me.
"I'm so glad now that I put the extra mile in my recovery and got my reward on a night like this."