OXFORD United winger Rob Hall is entering the most important period of his career, according to boss Karl Robinson.

The 25-year-old has returned to light training after spending seven months on the sidelines.

It was the latest in a line of knee injuries for Hall, who has only featured twice this season.

Robinson believes the former West Ham United trainee, whose contract expires in the summer, must now do all he can to avoid any repeat of his problems.

“Rob Hall’s got the biggest four months of his life now – it’s as simple as that,” he said.

“He needs to get in a physical state that his body recovers and heals to allow him to perform to the best of his ability.

“He’s going to have to change everything he has done over the last few years and live his life 100 per cent to the rule.

“If he starts to do that, then he can make massive inroads into his rehabilitation.”

Injury has been a familiar woe for Hall, who initially starred for United while on loan in 2011.

Also read: Oxford United have fitness doubts over trio to face Wycombe Wanderers

He rejoined the U’s in 2016 while recovering from a cruciate ligament problem in his left knee, but went on to make 35 appearances in 2016-17 under Michael Appleton.

However, cartilage damage ruled him out of the second half of last season, while in August he required surgery on his right knee after it swelled up following a training session.

Robinson, who signed the player on loan three times while manager of MK Dons, knows Hall cannot afford to have another setback.

He said: “The most trusted and respected knee surgeons have said they don’t feel it is something that should happen again.

“The treatment that he had this year was longer than what we would expect. He will have to manage it for the rest of his career.”

“It will certainly have an impact on the latter stages of his career, but he’s got to make sure he has a career in the game.”

Robinson added: “He’s a tremendous young man and somebody I hope and pray overcomes all the difficulties that he’s had.

“He’s arguably one of the best wingers in the league and he should be playing in the Championship.

“I’ve seen him destroy some top full backs and I hope one day to see that again.”

A 12-month extension clause in Hall’s original two-year deal was triggered last summer.

But Robinson stressed the club would have to put their own interests first if they were to offer the winger a new contract.

The U’s boss said: “We need to have that conversation with him and his agent to see what is right for us first and foremost.

“We have to make sure he is right and ready to perform.

“It’s been a long year not having him available and you can’t have another year where that becomes the case.

“A contract would have to have some sort of clause that supports the fact he’s playing and available to be selected.”