Newcastle United have recalled defender Mike Williamson early from his loan spell at Championships side Wolverhampton Wanderers.
The centre-back was due to be at Wolves until January 16 but he has been recalled early after Jamaal Lascelles suffered a minor hamstring injury during Saturday’s defeat at Crystal Palace.
Williamson made five appearances for the Midlands side after heading to Molineux in October.
Wolves had been impressed with the impact Williamson had made, with the Championship outfit keen to extend the loan deal beyond January.
But Williamson has now returned to Tyneside and will battle it out with Fabricio Coloccini and Chancel Mbemba for a starting spot.
Captain Coloccini has come under fierce criticism recently for his poor performances and could be axed by under-pressure boss Steve McClaren.
Williamson’s departure is a blow to Wolves.
Speaking last month, Wolves head coach Kenny Jackett said: “Mike has brought a lot of experience and physical presence to the back four and to the club and has helped the players around him at a time when we have had a number of injuries to centre backs.”
Newcastle had been keen for their fringe players out on loan to get some much-needed game time.
McClaren said: “These players need game time.”