The 21-year-old had been expected to see out the season at the Keepmoat Stadium and a loan extension had been agreed with the Blades.
However, United boss Chris Wilder has had a late change of heart following a spate of injuries.
Rovers boss Darren Ferguson said: “The lad has been called back at short notice due to injury problems, after we had already agreed to extend the loan.
“Hopefully this is a short-term measure and we can resurrect a deal before the window closes, though we will of course now look at all our options.”
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Whiteman scored seven goals in 30 appearances for Rovers, netting in the last two games against Peterborough United and Rochdale.
Whiteman said: “It is nice to be leaving on a high and with the team doing well and I would be happy to come back.
“I was fully expecting to stay here for the season so am a bit sad to be leaving - I’ve loved it and can’t thank the fans, players, manager and staff enough.”
He added: “It has been really good to play regularly, it is a step up from League Two and I feel I have done ok.
“League Two is a bit more physical, but it has been a real learning curve and I have loved my time with Rovers.”
Rodney Kongolo is expected to remain on loan from Manchester City until the end of the season.