Middlesbrough have recalled Connor Ripley from his loan spell at Burton Albion.
The 24-year-old joined the Brewers on a season-long deal in August, having impressed in previous campaigns at Motherwell and Oldham Athletic, where he broke the Latics' clean-sheet record.
But despite impressing in Albion's early-season Carabao Cup wins at Oldham and Cardiff City, Ripley has struggled to overtake the in-form Stephen Bywater as Burton's first-choice goalkeeper.
That has seen him make only two Championship appearances - in the home defeats to Ipswich Town and Barnsley in October - as well as a further cup outing in the third round at Manchester United.
While Ripley has struggled for game time at the Pirelli Stadium, his presence in the squad alongside Bywater and 22-year-old Harry Campbell has helped push on the competition for the starting keeper's spot.
And the general consensus is that Bywater's superb recent run of performances has been aided by Ripley's presence in the squad and pushing him in training.