OXFORD United have decided against extending Zeli Ismail's loan from Wolverhampton Wanderers.
The 22-year-old made half a dozen appearances as a substitute after joining the U's on transfer deadline day last month.
The loan expired after Tuesday night's 4-0 win against York City, where Ismail was an unused substitute.
And with United unable to fulfil Wolves' hopes for the winger to play regularly, head coach Michael Appleton agreed to send Ismail back.
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He said: "The one thing I couldn’t guarantee Zeli – and I know Wolves were very keen for it to happen – was game time.
"We have spoken to Wolves and they completely understand.
"We’re certainly not closing the door but he has gone back for the time being.
"We know the loan window is open to March 24 so it’s not dead in the water, but as it stands he’s gone back to Wolves today.
"There were no issues, he came to us and wasn’t particularly fit but he’s in good shape now.
"We’ve just got to make sure that if we do bring any other players in between now and the 24th is exactly what we need."