Tommy Elphick has returned to Aston Villa from Hull City.
Elphick joined Hull on a season-long loan deal from Championship rivals Villa in the summer transfer window.
The 31-year-old defender established himself as a key figure for the Tigers and has been playing well this season.
Villa manager Smith has explained his decision to recall Elphick, who was sent out on loan to Hull in the summer of 2018 by his predecessor Steve Bruce.
Smith told Villa’s official website about Elphick: “We exercised the clause to bring him back. We all know we’re short on defenders.
“He’s a good defender and has done very well at Hull. He’ll be back with us and available for QPR.
“Nigel Adkins was understandably disappointed, but we’ve had three right-backs playing in the back four of late. We need him and it’s ideal for us and he’ll undoubtedly help.”
Villa have a good squad, but defensively the Villans could do with a defender and have to tighten up at the back.
Elphick is in good form at the moment, and it does make sense for Smith to recall the 31-year-old defender from his loan spell at Hull.
With the Villans challenging for the Championship playoffs this season, they do need all the players to pull in the same direction and all the help they could get.