Chris Weale's loan spell at Northampton has been cut short after scans revealed the Leicester goalkeeper requires knee surgery.
Weale went down in a heap in the final minute of the Cobblers' 1-0 win over AFC Wimbledon at Sixfields on Tuesday night.
The 30-year-old was replaced by Freddy Hall and returned to Leicester to have the problem assessed by the Foxes medical staff.
"Chris has had his knee scanned and the result of that scan shows that he needs an operation," said Northampton boss Aidy Boothroyd.
"That is bad news for Chris and means his loan obviously won't be extended. He goes back to Leicester with our thanks and best wishes for a speedy recovery."
With Shane Higgs already sidelined through injury, Boothroyd may be forced into the loan market again for a replacement.
He added: "I have a few options open to me that I am considering ahead of our next game on Tuesday night."