Jermaine Pennant was included in Birmingham's starting line-up to face Spurs after being cleared to wear an electronic tag in his sock.
Pennant, 22, was available after being released from prison after serving 30 days of a three-month sentence for driving offences.
And Birmingham manager Steve Bruce handed him an instant recall.
Referee Howard Webb decided the tag was safe, and Pennant was applauded by Birmingham fans during the warm-up.
The Professional Match Officials Game Board decided the tagging device was safe so long as it was suitably padded.
Pennant is to be electronically tagged for the next two weeks.
Pennant is on loan at Birmingham from Arsenal until the end of the season and it is reported the midlanders have already agreed a £3m fee with the Gunners to sign the England Under-21 international in the summer.
Bruce, who visited Pennant in prison, is prepared to go to great lengths to help the former England Under-21 international sort out his life.
But he has also made it clear that he can expect no more reprieves if he again strays off the straight and narrow.
Bruce said: "I hope it has had the desired effect. Jermaine has served his sentence, I'm sure anyone who has been in prison will not want to re-offend and go back.
"We hope he has learnt his lesson and we will do everything we can to try and help him along with things and get back to normal.
"But he knows the rules. He knows what we expect of him now. There is no grey area. He can't expect to carry on like he has been.
"To be fair, Jermaine has had two or three opportunities and let himself down so there are no more for Jermaine."
His agent, Sky Andrew, believes the prison term will prove a catalyst in helping Pennant fulfil his potential.
"He is full of remorse and realises now that this has to be a turning point in his life and he knows he can become a role model if he can turn his life around," said Andrew.
"And what the public will accept is that he will turn it round and not get in any more trouble, but what the public won't accept is any more incidents.
"He was in a Category A prison so it has been very hard for him, he spent very little time out of his room and I think he had a lot of time to dwell on it and take stock."