Striker's loan deal cut short due to injury...

Striker Dexter Blackstock’s loan spell at the club has been cut short due to a knee injury.

The player had signed until January, but a knee injury sustained in training ahead of the Blackburn game nine days ago has brought about his early return to Nottingham Forest.

Dexter made an immediate impact for United, scoring on his debut at Huddersfield, and he also created two of Ross McCormack’s four goals at Charlton. But, the striker made just four appearances before injury struck and his time with the club is now at an end.

“Unfortunately he has got to go back to Nottingham Forest,” confirmed United assistant manager Nigel Gibbs. “He has got to have an operation on his knee which is obviously disappointing for him, but also for us.

“He fitted in really well and you can see from his performances how much he brought to the team. We are sad to see him go back.

“He came on as a sub in the first couple of games but then he played his part in the team. He really knitted the team really well and had a good relationship with Ross up there.

“We never really saw the best of him but he contributed while he was here and I think he could have done really well for us.”

Blackstock’s departure reduces the striking options available to Brian McDermott, but Matt Smith stepped into the breach against Wigan, and was rewarded with a goal against Watford on Saturday.

“It is a body less and a centre forward less,” added the assistant boss. “We have a lot of games coming up but that gives opportunities to other players. Matt Smith has stepped in with Dexter not playing the last couple of games and has done very well.

“It is an opportunity for somebody else. We’ll get through these games and see where we are in January.”