Melbourne City coach Warren Joyce admits the club won't get leading scorer Ross McCormack back.
The Scotland international scored 14 goals in 17 league games for City during his loan spell from Aston Villa.
City had previously agreed to let the striker return to England to visit his family last month but hoped they'd be able to negotiate with Villa for him to come back to Melbourne and extend his loan spell until the end of the season.
That's now been ruled out, says Joyce, and for the moment until marquee Bruno Fornaroli returns from a long-term injury City will be without their two most potent weapons up front.
It's just disappointing and frustrating we couldn't come to an agreement and prolong it until the end of the season.Warren Joyce
"It's disappointing to lose Ross," added the coach. "We weren't able to reach an agreement between the two clubs and that is football; we have to get on with it.
"The last two games he had an Achilles problem so we had to adjust. He came on late in both games and hadn't had a lot of training so we had to adjust before that, we've prepared without him in the last two games."
Joyce says McCormack had been a hit with the fans and his teammates, so the loan deal had worked out well.
"It's just disappointing and frustrating we couldn't come to an agreement and prolong it until the end of the season," he added.
Dutch defender Bart Schenkeveld is likely to slot back into the starting side for Sunday's clash with Brisbane Roar at Suncorp Stadium.
The home side have been boosted by winning their last two games, but City are also full of confidence after a run of five games without defeat.
City are 11/8 to beat Brisbane Roar, who are 2/1 with the draw 12/5.
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