Jose Mourinho says Bastian Schweinsteiger is "ready to play" following a season on the sidelines for Manchester United.
The 32-year-old former Bayern Munich midfielder was frozen out by Mourinho upon his arrival at the club and has played just four minutes of an EFL Cup clash this season.
The 121-capped German international though kept his head down and continued to apply himself in training, with the Portuguese boss now admitting he will consider Schweinsteiger for selection during the second half of the season.
Speaking ahead of his side's FA Cup clash with Reading on Saturday, Mourinho said: "He is selected [in the squad] again.
Finished our final training session. Looking forward to tomorrow's game! #mufc
— Basti Schweinsteiger (@BSchweinsteiger) January 6, 2017
"So he can start or he can be on the bench. He is an option for us, that is the best way to describe.
"For many months we made the decision he was not an option. When we brought him back he was not ready to compete in the first few weeks but since then he is working very well, never had an injury – he was just ill last week – so his body is fine.
"He is training well and ready to play."
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) January 6, 2017
He added: "My approach – because I think it is right from a human point of view – is that is if a player is not playing, I cannot stop a player from leaving if offer is right.
"Bastian has played some minutes against West Ham and no more than that. But he wants to stay, he is staying, he is an option.
"Because he is an option he is selected for Saturday, just like he has been for three or four matches.
"He is waiting for that opportunity to play and January is a good month for that with so many matches."