Paul Heffernan will not be extending his loan spell at Oldham due to a striker shortage at parent club Doncaster.
The experienced front-man has enjoyed a productive loan stint at Boundary Park and Latics boss Dave Penney enquired about a possible extension.
Oldham have injury problems of their own, with top goalscorer Pawel Abbott currently sidelined, and were keen to keep Heffernan in the North West.
However, Penney will now have to look at alternatives as Doncaster boss Sean O'Driscoll is eager to have his player back at the Keepmoat Stadium.
Penney said: "We enquired about keeping Paul, but due to the injury problems they have Sean has said that Paul can't come back right now.
"We've now got to reassess what we have ready for the window opening and more importantly look to get three points from Hartlepool on Saturday."
Oldham are set to be boosted in January by the return of Chris O'Grady from a loan spell of his own at neighbours Rochdale, who are keen to secure his services on a permanent basis.
O'Grady has proved a revelation at Spotland having scored 12 goals in 21 appearances, prompting interest from a host of clubs in his services.
Oldham could elect to cash in now rather than risk losing the player in the summer when his contract expires, with Championship clubs Plymouth and Derby rumoured to be monitoring the situation.