BURY have sent teenage loan striker Tom Hopper back to parent club Leicester City.

The 19-year-old scored three goals in 21 appearances for the Shakers since arriving in September, but has been sidelined in recent weeks following a drop in form.

He was left out of the last two squads after falling foul of the five loan-player limit.

Andy Bishop’s goalscoring comeback in Saturday’s 2-0 victory over Doncaster saw Hopper drop further down the pecking order, prompting Bury manager Kevin Blackwell to cut short his season-long deal.

However, the Shakers boss praised the young pro’s dedication to the Gigg Lane cause.

“I can’t thank Tom enough for the effort he has put in for this club during his time here,” said Blackwell.

“He led the line for us almost single-handedly at times and that has really taken it out of him. The lad deserves a rest.”

But he added: “Bish (Andy Bishop) has got the experience that, to be fair, young Hopps (Hopper) hasn’t. I would have loved a fit Bishop to have had the opportunities that Hopps has had.

“So Hopps has got to look and learn from players like Bish, but I know he has a long career ahead of him.”

Bishop is likely to retain his place up front for Bury’s next match at Brentford on Saturday.

David Worrall (thigh) is the main injury doubt, although Trevor Carson is undergoing treatment for a hand injury.