Middlesbrough have recalled Jonathan Grounds from his loan spell at Championship side Norwich.
The 20-year-old had joined the Canaries on a three-month deal on 1st September, featuring in the club's last five fixtures.
However, he is now heading back to the Riverside Stadium as Boro boss Gareth Southgate faces a player shortage.
The news of Grounds' departure has come as a blow to Norwich manager Glenn Roeder as he is already set to be without veteran centre-half Dejan Stefanovic for the next two games as he serves a suspension for a red card picked up against Southampton on Tuesday.
"We have been hit hard with a double whammy with Dejan out for two games and now Jonathan Grounds being called back to Middlesbrough," Roeder told the club's official website.
"I only found out at nine o'clock yesterday (Wednesday) morning about Jonathan. He would have been playing here on Saturday.
"If I was Gareth I would do the same. I had a good chat with Gareth, he was happy to leave Jonathan here, his intentions were to leave him here.
"He had seen he'd been playing and Middlesbrough's scouts had been reporting back to Gareth that he'd been doing well, which he had.
Roeder continued: "But unfortunately he's got an injury to the left-back (Andrew Taylor) who's going to be out for a few weeks, and Pogatetz, the centre-half is out for three games for a sending-off and he's been left short for defensive cover, so he must protect his corner.
"To think at one stage we were double-handed, and now the cupboard's been left bare. But that's life.
"It gives someone else an opportunity to play who hasn't been playing and I am sure that person will come in and play well and grab that opportunity."