Defender Jonny Evans hopes to make his comeback for Manchester United at Southampton on Sunday after playing 90 minutes for the club's Under-21 side.
Darren Fletcher also completed the full game in the 2-1 defeat of Totttenham while left-back Alexander Buttner made his first appearance since signing from Vitesse Arnhem. Evans had surgery on his injured ankle over the summer and was one of four centre-backs to miss the start of the season.
Midfielder Michael Carrick has been pressed into emergency service alongside captain Nemanja Vidic in defence, but now Evans hopes to return in place of the Englishman at St Mary's.
Sir Alex Ferguson was in the crowd to see Federico Macheda score United both goals and Evans finish the game.
"It's my first game but I have been doing a lot of work behind the scenes," the Northern Ireland international told MUTV. I might have only played 60 minutes, but with it being 90 it gets me the full game behind me and hopefully I'll be in contention for Sunday.
"I felt pretty good. I've had a few setbacks over pre-season where it's not gone as planned. Hopefully now everything's behind me and I can kick on with the season now."
Evans praised Buttner, adding: "He's been training all week with us and I've been very impressed. He seems very confident on the ball, good in the tackle.
"He probably didn't get as much of the ball as he would have liked. But he defended really well, which is important, and I'm sure he can be happy with himself."
Midfielder Fletcher made his third appearance as he continues his recovery after being sidelined since November with a chronic bowel problem.