Sir Alex Ferguson has revealed Tim Howard could still have a future at Manchester United.
When he loaned the United States keeper out to Everton for the season, then did a deal with West Brom that will eventually lead to the permanent signing of Tomasz Kuszczak, it looked like Ferguson felt Howard's time at Old Trafford was at an end.
Although the 27-year-old was an instant hit following his arrival from Major League Soccer outfit New York Metrostars in 2003, he subsequently made a series of high-profile mistakes in big games and spent virtually all of last season on the bench as understudy to Edwin van der Sar.
However, since arriving on Merseyside, Howard's form has returned.
He will lose his ever-present record on Wednesday when Everton visit United due to the rules preventing loan signings appearing against their parent clubs.
But he has already provided Ferguson with some evidence he could have a future with the Red Devils after all.
'Tim has been doing really well at Everton, which is what we hoped for,' said Ferguson.
'The potential has always been there because he has great elasticity, he is brave, has a good spring and is an excellent distributor of the ball. All he needed was the experience, and now he is getting it.
'I have spoken to David Moyes and he is delighted at how Tim has been playing. But it is certainly a possibility he could come back to us, no question about that.'
With Howard consigned to the stands, Richard Wright will come into the Everton starting line-up.