RICKY Holmes has left Oxford United and returned to Sheffield United – but discussions are taking place about whether he could return later in the season.

The 31-year-old’s impact has been limited by a back injury in recent weeks, restricting him to 19 appearances since August.

Holmes, who has not played for a month, was sent for scans earlier this month and it is thought it would take him eight weeks to get back to fitness.

With United battling relegation from Sky Bet League One, Karl Robinson cannot afford to wait for the winger.

But the head coach did raise the possibility of coming up with an arrangement with the Blades which could see him start paying their share of his wages again once he returned to fitness.

He said: “Ricky’s gone back to Sheffield United. That’s not something we’ve closed the door on, we’re speaking to Sheffield United about a different type of contract.

“If he gets himself fit in eight weeks he might have eight or nine games left to go, could he come back in for that time?”