JOE Riley has joined Oxford United on a five-month loan.

The 22-year-old right-back is looking to the spell with the League Two club as the next stage in rebuilding his career after lengthy injury problems.

He has had two extended spells on the sidelines since emerging as a potential fixture in the Wanderers back four following his debut three years ago.

“Being out for a full season last season and half a season before that has been really hard,” he told BBC Radio Oxford.

“I like to think that's all behind me now and can get some games under my belt."

Referring to his injury problems, he said: “I like to think it's made me mentally and physically stronger.

"When you've been out injured for a long time you miss training, and playing on a Tuesday and Saturday so that's all I'm looking forward to doing.”

Oxford head coach Michael Appleton said: “I'm delighted to have Joe here. He is 6ft tall, he has pace and he uses the ball well."

Riley showed no signs of the injury problems during Wanderers’ recent tour of Scandinavia, and manager Dougie Freedman said that while Riley’s re-integration will have to be managed carefully the early signs were positive.