Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has denied a charge of violent conduct and will be free to face Manchester City in the Carling Cup.
Ferdinand was charged on Tuesday following an incident in last weekend's 4-0 Premier League win over Hull City.
The England defender appeared to catch Tigers striker Craig Fagan in the face with his arm in an off-the-ball incident which went unpunished by referee Steve Bennett.
Ferdinand would have missed Wednesday's semi-final second leg showdown with City at Old Trafford had he pleaded guilty to the charge.
However, he is now free to play as his appeal will now be heard on Thursday.
"Rio Ferdinand has denied a charge of violent conduct," read an FA statement.
"The charge relates to an incident involving Hull City forward Craig Fagan during the second half of the match at Old Trafford on
Saturday 23 January.
"A Regulatory Commission will hear the charge on Thursday 28 January."
However, should Ferdinand be found guilty of a 'frivolous' denial then the FA have the right to impose a greater sanction than the normal three-game ban which applies to a violent conduct charge.