Oxford United will have to reshuffle their defence after Johnny Mullins was recalled by Rotherham United.
The defender’s loan was cut short by the Millers amid an injury crisis which has hit Steve Evans’s side.
It is a significant blow for the U’s as Mullins has been one of their most consistent performers since joining last month.
The 27-year-old formed a promising partnership at centre half with Jake Wright and scored twice in eight games.
He came agonisingly close to a third goal with what proved to be his final touch for United, sending in an injury-time header which hit both posts in a 2-2 draw at Barnet.
U’s boss Chris Wilder said: “Johnny has done well for us, but we understand the situation at Rotherham.
“These things happen in football and we move on.”
United do have options within their squad to fill the void ahead of the home game against in-form Northampton Town.
Michael Raynes and Harry Worley are in contention, while Andy Whing could be moved across from right back.