Our combative full-back came on for the final 15 minutes of Saturday's game against Middlesbrough in what was his first Premiership action since November last year.
So having recovered fully from the hip problems that sidelined him for almost a year he now has to force his way into Glenn Hoddle's plans.
He knows it won't be easy though. 'Thatch' said: "I got back involved in the first team at Tranmere, pleased with how it went but unfortunately for me the injured players came back and I missed out on the Derby game and I've been on the bench since without managing to get on.
"The team has been flying to be fair so there are no arguments from me.
"In the last three or four games, since United, the team has been looking different class.
"It was nice to be back involved on Saturday, a tough game, not ideal to come on that time, but it was great to get the result."
Ben, 26, was back in action for the reserves on Monday night and says he now feels fully fit.
He explained: "I've played a lot of reserve games now and haven't missed a day's training since the summer.
"I'm as fit as I'm going to be now. Obviously there is a difference with the first team because the pace is that bit quicker but after two or three first team games and 90 minutes I'll be sharp again.
"I haven't been back in the treatment room since the operation. I'm very happy about that and I don't intend to go back in there."
Ben Thatcher is back - but now he faces another battle.