SWINDON Town loanee Jerry Yates has returned to Rotherham United after being recalled by his parent club on Wednesday as cover for the injured Kyle Vassell.

Yates – who represented Town’s main source of goals after the departure of fellow loanee Eoin Doyle – scored 12 in 27 appearances during his time at the County Ground.

This was despite spending the majority of his loan spell out on the left wing while Bradford forward Doyle netted in an extraordinary 11 games in a row.

Swindon Town manager Richie Wellens said there is a chance the Doncaster-born striker will return before February 1, but is preparing himself for life without Yates.

In the club’s pre-match press conference on Wednesday, Wellens compared himself to boxing-movie legend Rocky Balboa after learning another one of his loanees would not see out the season in Wiltshire.

Wellens said: “I got a call on Tuesday from Paul Warne saying Kyle Vassell has picked up a calf injury, so they (Rotherham) need Jerry back for Saturday and Tuesday.

“Then we’ll review it in the middle of next week.

“Obviously, it’s not ideal and I feel like Rocky Balboa at the minute against Dolph Lundgren (Rocky IV) taking blow after blow.

“And they’re not just soft jabs – they’re heavy, heavy shots.

“It’s not ideal, but you know what happened to Rocky Balboa and Dolph Lundgren don’t you? Rocky won.”

As well as long-term injuries to Dion Conroy, Diallang Jaiyesimi and Ellis Iandolo, Wellens has seen Daniel Ballard, Eoin Doyle and now Jerry Yates have their loan deals cut short.

The Town manager admitted the club will have to continue their pursuit of temporary signings as the County-Ground outfit simply does not have the funds to sign the calibre of players Wellens wants on permanent deals.

He said: “We’ve got to remain upbeat because we’re still in a good situation.

“Obviously we’ve lost nearly 40 goals from the team, and that’s tough for anyone, but we’re not going to feel sorry for ourselves.

“We’re going to keep smiling, keep our spirits up and try and sort out a team for Saturday.

“That’s just where we are at the moment. If we had the money to buy these kind of players, we would, but we can’t.

“Therefore, we have to get players that are out of our wage structure on loan instead.

“Hopefully we can get Jerry back – he was distraught when he found out he was going back because this was the spell he’s had in his career.

“I feel for him, but I have to respect Paul Warne’s decision.”