Henrikh Mkhitaryan has been named in the 21-man Manchester United squad for tomorrow's (3 November) Europa League clash against Fenerbahce. Fellow outcast midfielder Michael Carrick remains at home, however, as he presumably prepares to deputise for the suspended Ander Herrera at Swansea City this weekend.
Jose Mourinho's side travel to the Sukru Saracoglu Stadium in Istanbul on Thursday seeking to leapfrog Feyenoord at the top of Group A after inflicting a heavy 4-1 defeat on the Turkish outfit at Old Trafford two weeks ago courtesy of a brace from Paul Pogba and additional goals from Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard.
Mkhitaryan's inclusion comes after a rather baffling period of absence. The gifted Armenian playmaker, who moved to the Premier League from Borussia Dortmund for a reported fee of £26.3m ($32.3m) in July, has not played a single minute of competitive action since aggravating a thigh strain initially sustained on international duty during the first half of his only start in English football to date, against Manchester City almost two months ago.
While that problem ruled the 27-year-old out of United's next four matches across all competitions, he was expected to feature in a home tie against Zorya Luhansk after resuming first-team training in the build-up to the game.
However, he did not make the matchday 18 for a dour narrow victory and was not even named among the substitutes for any of the club's next six fixtures against Stoke, Liverpool, Fenerbahce, Chelsea, Manchester City and Burnley.
Hoping to prove his worth alongside Mkhitaryan in Turkey will be Phil Jones. The injury-stricken defender, who suffered a recurrence of an ankle injury on his last outing in January, has been out of action since pre-season and was expected to be sidelined for a further month after injuring his medial knee ligament in September. That latest setback scuppered his hopes of making a comeback in the 1-0 defeat to Feyenoord.
Martial is also on the plane after missing United's last two matches with an inflamed foot, while Timothy Fosu-Mensah, who recently agreed terms on a new four-year contract, will hope to make his first appearance since that last clash with Fenerbahce.
In terms of absentees, Mourinho, who is due to hold his press conference at 4pm, remains without Eric Bailly. The influential centre-back continues to recover from a lateral knee ligament injury picked up during the humiliating 4-0 thrashing at Chelsea. Antonio Valencia has a broken arm, while Chris Smalling misses out due to a foot issue.
Like Carrick, Memphis Depay also stays at home as he continues to struggle to register a discernible impact. Striker James Wilson, meanwhile, recently returned early from a season-long loan stint at Derby County after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament.