GRANT Hall admits he has experienced some “real dark days” during an eight-month spell on the sidelines which finally came to an end when he came off the bench during our 3-1 home defeat to Leeds earlier this month.
The 26 year-old defender hadn’t featured since our 2-1 loss at Loftus Road to Premier League bound Brighton in April owing to tendonitis in his knee.
He has now played in our last three fixtures, including Saturday’s 1-1 draw with high-flying Bristol City.
Those appearances represent the light at the end of what has been a long and challenging tunnel for the popular former Tottenham man, and he admitted: “The knee feels really good. I am still easing myself in and trying to get match fit but I can only do that by playing games so it has been nice to get some minutes recently.
“I have seen a specialist and he seems to have fixed it for me but this has been the lowest point of my career.
“I knew I had tendonitis but we didn’t know how best to sort it which made it really tough mentally.
“If someone said to me ‘You’re going to be out for eight months,’ I could deal with that. But I didn’t know how long I would be out.
“I came back and broke down a few times which was so hard and I had some real dark days with it.”
Appearances against Leeds, Birmingham and the Robins suggest Hall’s nightmare may be over, and he is grateful to QPR boss Ian Holloway for the support he has shown him during such a frustrating period.
“This is the best it has felt in a very long time so hopefully I am over the worst of it now and I can focus on the rest of the season,” he said.
“The gaffer has been really good with me in terms of bringing me back. I just have to take care of it to make sure I am ready for the games.
“There are a lot of matches over the Christmas period so hopefully I can get my chance in one of those.”
The R’s conceded a late leveller to take a share of the spoils against Bristol City two days ago and Hall admits the manner of the equaliser – a contentious penalty – was tough to take.
“It was sickening to miss out on all three points in the way we did,” he said.
“We watched it back afterwards and none of us felt it was a penalty. The lads all put so much work in too, so it was tough to take.
“Over the course of the game there were chances at both ends so we will take the point and move on.
“Bristol City are a very, very good team so to take a point against them is a positive for us and that’s how we need to view it.
“The boys all really dug in for each other and you could see out there that when the going gets tough we all work for each other.
“It was a real battle but that’s the Championship and I think there were plenty of positive signs for us.”
The R’s squad are now on their way to Ipswich ahead of our Boxing Day clash at Portman Road, and Hall says the players head there with a new sense of belief after their recent victory at Birmingham City.
“To end the away-day hoodoo was a big relief for all the boys and the coaches,” he said.
“You don’t want to be going into matches with that at the back of your mind. Now we have ended that we can hopefully build on it when we take on Ipswich.”