Noel Hunt has returned to Leeds United from his loan at Ipswich Town but the striker will not play any part in Sunday’s FA Cup clash with Sunderland.
Hunt is back at Elland Road after a short-term stay in Suffolk but he is suffering from a knee injury and awaiting clarification over his future after his time at Ipswich ended without a fresh deal between the clubs.
Leeds sent Hunt to Portman Road in late November, sanctioning a move which looked likely to end a difficult career at Elland Road.
The Republic of Ireland international is out of contract in the summer and has struggled to find his form since joining United on a two-year deal from Reading in 2013.
Leeds remain open to offers for him during the January transfer window and his return this week is unlikely to see him regain a place in the plans of head coach Neil Redfearn.
Redfearn said: “He’s back but he’s got a niggle with his knee so he’s not been able to train. At this moment he’s back at the club.
“We’ve got a big squad here. Some players have been in contention and some haven’t. Noel found himself out of the picture so he went to Ipswich. We’ll have to sit down and work out what’s best for him.
“He’s a good lad and a good pro. It hasn’t happened for him at Leeds United but it’s not for the want of trying.”
Hunt has failed to score a single competitive goal for United but he struck on his Ipswich debut, earning the club an injury-time win at Charlton Athletic.
He made a further three appearances, his last against Charlton on Tuesday night, but Ipswich boss Mick McCarthy said: “There is nothing in place between the two clubs to extend the deal.
“There’s no agreement so Noel will have to go back to Leeds and do something else.”