Kelvin Etuhu's Rochdale loan spell has come to a premature end after injuring his knee against Walsall.
The Manchester City winger is now back at Eastlands after suffering a medial knee ligament injury in the 1-1 draw.
Dale boss Keith Hill is bitterly disappointed to lose Etuhu's services as City had agreed to extend his loan deal.
"Kelvin has damaged his medial ligaments and as a result has gone back to Manchester City," explained Hill.
"It's a real shame for the lad and for us because we'd been given the green light to extend his stay.
"Since he's been here he's proved what a good footballer he is and he's also a terrific role model for our younger players."
Hill is now on the search for reinforcements after losing Etuhu and is keen to bag a right-sided player.
"It's important that we put out a few feelers," he added in the Rochdale Observer.
"I feel we need a naturally right-sided player to give us the balance we require."