The microstructural evolution during annealing of a commercial Al-Mn alloy cold rolled to a high strain was investigated using EBSD and Gallium Enhanced Microscopy. The precipitation of manganese, coarsening of precipitates and tensile properties were monitored at different stages. It was found that during recovery the subgrains grow until they reach the limiting subgrain size when the driving force has been reduced to the same level as the Zener drag from the dispersoids. New grains are nucleated at constituent particles and a few are able to grow. The softening during recovery and the onset of discontinuous recrystallisation are analyzed and discussed in terms of recent theories of recovery and recrystallisation.