Oxford boss Chris Wilder has a number of options to fill the void left by Johnny Mullins.
The 27-year-old's loan stay with the club was cut short after Rotherham suffered an injury crisis, robbing the U's of one of their most consistent performers in recent weeks.
Michael Raynes and Harry Worley are in contention to replace Mullins while Andy Whing could be moved across from right-back.
Meanwhile three Oxford defenders are edging closer to a return to the first-team squad and Wilder will be able to call on Michael Duberry, Liam Davis and Damian Batt in the near future.
Top scorer Tom Craddock (cracked rib) and Deane Smalley (groin) remain on the sidelines.
Oxford drew 2-2 at Barnet on Tuesday night to leave them five points clear of the relegation zone and nine points off the play-off places.
Northampton have brought in cover for the suspended Joe Widdowson.
Widdowson will serve a one-match ban after receiving his fifth yellow card of the season during the 3-0 home win over Morecambe on Tuesday night.
With Widdowson out and fellow defenders David Artell and John Johnson long-term injury absentees, Town boss Aidy Boothroyd has signed Chris Smith on loan from Swindon until January 1, 2013 and he will go straight into the squad to face the U's.
Boothroyd has plenty of options should he wish to make changes to his starting XI, with defenders Anthony Charles and Danny East, midfielder Emyr Huws and forwards Clive Platt, Henoc Mukendi and Louis Moult all available.