Southampton manager Ronald Koeman says Gaston Ramirez is back in his plans after the forward made his first Saints appearance in nearly 13 months.
The Uruguay international, 24, was a second-half substitute in the 6-0 League Cup win at MK Dons on Wednesday.
Ramirez, who spent last season on loan at Hull City, was Saints' club record signing when he cost them £12m in 2012.
"He's part of the squad, training well, well disciplined and not complaining. I admire that," said Koeman.
Ramirez's last appearance for the Saints was in a 3-1 victory at West Ham in August 2014 but injury and questions over his attitude have plagued his three years at the club.
Southampton also welcomed back left-back Ryan Bertrand for his first game of the season after undergoing knee surgery during the summer.
Koeman added: "He's good because he played 45 minutes [in an under-21 game against Reading] on Monday and another 35 minutes tonight. He is still maybe not ready for a whole game, but he's close to being back."