Neill Collins is poised to play his first game of senior football since October when Port Vale face Leyton Orient this weekend after leaving Sheffield United on loan.
The centre-half joined Robert Page’s side on a temporary basis this morning and is scheduled to remain with United’s League One rivals until the end of the present campaign.
Page, the former United defender, said: “We’re delighted to bring someone in of Neill’s quality.
“He will add leadership and even more of an aerial presence to our defensive unit. I’ve got to give a lot of credit to the chairman as well.
“He has worked very hard over the last few days and has had to dig deep to get these deals done.”
Vale were beaten 1-0 at Bramall Lane last weekend. United followed-up that victory with another win over Scunthorpe in midweek.
Collins, aged 31, joined United from Yorkshire rivals Leeds in 2011. The former Scotland under-21 international, who has also represented Sunderland, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Preston North End, has won three promotions during his career in England.