Marco van Ginkel returned to action after six months on the sidelines, featuring for Chelsea’s Under-21 side as they drew 0-0 with Manchester United.
The Dutch midfielder, an £8.4m signing from Vitesse Arnhem last summer, suffered cruciate knee ligament damage in the Capital One Cup tie at Swindon in September.
But his recovery has gone extremely well and Van Ginkel, 21, came on as a half-time substitute in the game at Leigh Sports Village in Wigan to play the second half.
He had a low shot saved after being teed up by Lewis Baker, while Alex Kiwomya also came close to scoring for the Blues.
The result means Chelsea are now unbeaten in their last 10 matches in the Under-21 Premier League.