Notts County's hopes of beating the drop have been dealt a blow after Hayden Mullins was recalled from his loan spell by Birmingham City
The defender, 35, who has played a key role in helping the Sky Bet League 1 club move out of the relegation places, is wanted back at his parent club following a spate of injuries.
Blues have now activated a clause in his short-term deal.
Notts County's chief executive Jim Rodwell said: "Since arriving at the club, Hayden has shown what a model professional he is both on and off the pitch and there is no doubt that his experience and attitude have played a major part in the club's improved form of late.
"Obviously we are disappointed to be losing him at such a key time but we fully understand Birmingham's reasons for recalling him and would like to place on record our thanks to them for allowing Hayden to join us and to wish both the club and the player well for their final two games of the season."
The Magpies are two points above the drop zone with one game remaining at Oldham Athletic on Saturday.