West Brom central defender Kyle Howkins has left Vale Park and returned to his parent club.
The Baggies centre-half had a successful spell on loan last season making ten appearances before his spell was cut short through injury. After Howkins rejoined the club in January he was not able to make an immediate impact in the Port Vale team the second time around.
Manager John Askey denied there were any issues with the player, who had been a long-term target of predecessor Neil Aspin, but said that the player needed to regain match fitness after a long-term injury.
Howkins finally made a first-team appearance at the end of March but after a below-par performance against Exeter, Howkins was dropped for veteran Leon Legge. It is likely that manager John Askey will keep faith with the central defensive partnership of Legge and Nathan Smith for the final game of the season.
It means Howkins made thirteen appearances for the Valiants over his two spells. The defender is out of contract in the summer but it is unclear if Vale will make a move for the 22 year-old.