Carlisle boss Greg Abbott had nothing but praise for defender Valentin Gjokaj after he was recalled by parent club Derby.
The 19-year-old was expected to stay with the Cumbrians until January 2 but has been recalled by Nigel Clough.
Gjokaj, who made his debut against Bournemouth in the FA Cup, returns to Pride Park after an assessment of their injuries ahead of the festive period.
United aren't without injury problems of their own with Abbott still waiting on a host of players to return.
"I know Valentin was enjoying his time up here but there's nothing we can do about a situation like this," he told the club's official website.
"He's a good, hard working lad and his club need him back so, unfortunately, we have to let him go. He goes with our thanks and best wishes."