Full-back 'Thatch' last played in the Premiership last November when he was sidelined by a hip problem that eventually required surgery in the summer.
After a number of reserve team games he has been named in an 18-man squad for the third round tie.
And he might well feature at Prenton Park - Christian Ziege misses out after picking up a minor knee injury on international duty for Germany at the weekend and Dean Richards is cup-tied.
Christian's problem is not serious but it was considered that it would be better for him to rest for a couple of days to be ready for Monday's Premiership visit of Derby County.
Tim Sherwood also returns to the squad after a niggling thigh problem. Glenn Hoddle confirmed: "Tim and Ben will be in the squad but the long-termers are still long-termers."
Of the longer-term injuries, Glenn reported that Goran Bunjevcevic had resumed training after fracturing his cheekbone against Chelsea but was not allowed any physical contact.
The boss also indicated that Anthony Gardner's hamstring tweak at Peterborough United on Thursday would result in a matter of days out, rather than weeks.
"It's still settling down," said Glenn. "He's had a slow jog, nothing more than that, but he'll be another three or four days. It's not a long-termer, we hope, but with a hamstring you have to take all the precautions and make sure it's right."
Steffen Iversen, Stephen Carr and Gary Doherty remain on the long-term list.
Squad: Sullivan, Keller, Taricco, King, Thelwell, Perry, Thatcher, Davies, Leonhardsen, Sherwood, Anderton, Freund, Poyet, Etherington, Sheringham, Rebrov, Ferdinand, Ferguson.
Ben Thatcher is back in the squad for the first time in almost a year for Tuesday night's Worthington Cup tie against Tranmere Rovers.