The £5m capture from Wimbledon last summer has been struggling with a groin problem since November and hasn’t played since our win against Leicester City six weeks ago.
But he will take his place on Tuesday in the reserve team’s first outing since the week before Christmas — they haven’t played competitively since December 5.
Newcomer Stevie Ferguson, 18, who joined us just before the festive period from Scottish Third Division outfit East Fife, will also play in our colours for the first time. He was snapped up after scoring nine goals in eight games in Scotland.
Luke Young, who featured briefly for the first team against Newcastle last week after a lengthy period out, recent first teamers Willem Korsten and Alton Thelwell and the likes of Matthew Etherington, Simon Davies, Anthony Gardner, Ian Hillier and Ciaran Toner are all expected to play.
Manager Chris Hughton revealed: "Luke Young will be involved and Ben Thatcher,
which will be a big plus for us considering the amount of time he has been out.
"He’s been training for five or six days now and been in rehabilitation longer than that.
"It’s important he now comes through the game because that gives us more options for the first team.
"Stevie Ferguson will also play some part for the first time.
"We’re looking forward to getting back into action. It’s always hard to organise games over Christmas with the amount of games we play so some of these lads haven’t played for three weeks now.
"You can train as much as you want but lads want to play and that is where we judge them, in games."
Ben Thatcher will make his comeback in a private reserve team friendly away match on Tuesday.