Preston North End's squad has been further depleted after Stoke City recalled Michael Tonge and Danny Pugh from their loan spells.
The sacking of Darren Ferguson earlier in the week saw Manchester United cut short Ritchie de Laet and Joshua King's loans at Deepdale.
Now, ahead of the New Year's Day game at home to Derby County, caretaker boss David Unsworth has lost the services of Tonge and Pugh.
Both players had made five Championship appearances for Preston since joining in November and were due to stay at the club until next month.
However, Stoke boss Tony Pulis has brought the pair back to the Britannia Stadium to provide cover in his squad during the current busy period.
Stoke meet Everton on Saturday before tackling Manchester United next Tuesday and then Cardiff City in the FA Cup third round.