JACK O’Connell has played his final match for Rotherham United, The Star can confirm.
The teenage defender has returned to parent club Blackburn Rovers following the expiry of his youth loan deal at the New York Stadium.
With Dale Tonge and Craig Morgan ruled out through injury, Millers boss Steve Evans drafted in the 18-year-old six weeks ago on a temporary basis to bolster his defensive options.
O’Connell, an England youth international, made his Rotherham debut as a late substitute in the 1-0 victory at Exeter City. He came off the bench in two of his five appearances and was involved in three losses. O’Connell was asked to fill in at centre-half and left-back.
Huddersfield Town loanee Liam Ridehalgh is expected to be recalled by the Millers for the visit of struggling Barnet this Saturday. His deal runs out after the League Two duel.
Steve Evans, the Rotherham United manager, will also have to make an enforced change at centre-half as Kari Arnason is suspended following the Icelandic player’s red card in the club’s FA Cup third round defeat to Aldershot Town. With Morgan still a week away from full fitness, Ian Sharps is set to be given the nod to partner Johnny Mullins.
Long-term absentees Tonge, David Noble and Lionel Ainsworth were all given run outs in a private friendly with neighbours Sheffield Wednesday yesterday as they step up their comebacks. Noble and Ainsworth have not featured at first-team level since October.
* The reserves cup clash with Morecambe, scheduled for this afternoon, has been called off because of a waterlogged pitch. A new date has yet to be finalised.