ALEX Revell has cut short his loan spell with Wigan Athletic and returned to his parent club Cardiff.
The 32-year-old was a late substitute in the 2-0 win at Barnsley on Saturday that saw Latics climb back up to fifth in the League One table.
But that was his final act as a Latics player after returning to the South Wales club a month earlier than planned.
Cardiff confirmed Revell had been recalled with “the player’s personal circumstances having been taken in to account”, just six weeks after making the move north.
He made seven appearances in all competitions, scoring one goal - the important winner against Shrewsbury on November 21.
“I want to thank everyone at the club - the fans and all the players - who made me so welcome,” said Revell.
“It’s a great club, it’s been great to me, and I hope you get the reward of promotion this season.”
Revell’s departure leaves Latics a striker light at a crucial stage of the season, with the Boxing Day visit of Sheffield United the first of three games in the space of seven days.
It could also force Gary Caldwell into the transfer market a few weeks earlier than expected, although Grant Holt is due to return from his own loan spell at Wolves in a fortnight.
The Latics boss is already waiting to hear the extent of the groin problem that has forced Francisco Junior to make an early return to Everton.
Junior is another whose loan at the DW is up next month, with Caldwell hoping to extend that to the end of the season if his injury is not serious.
Also due to return to his parent club next month is Middlesbrough winger Yanic Wildschut, although the flying Dutchman is another player Caldwell would love to keep hold of if the two clubs can strike a deal.