Craig Huby is ready to play his first Huddersfield Giants game of the season on Friday.
But fellow prop Eorl Crabtree will not be at his side for the Super League XXI trip to Wakefield Trinity Wildcats.
While Huby has proved his fitness after suffering a broken hand in pre-season, Huddersfield chief Paul Anderson has confirmed Crabtree will not be available after being left dazed under the challenge that forced his retirement after 20 minutes of Sunday’s demoralising 46-25 home defeat to Catalans Dragons.
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He was the victim of a spear tackle by Krisnan Inu, who was sin-binned for the incident at the time and has subsequently been handed a three-match ban. Giants’ star Joe Wardle has, of course, been banned for two games after being sent off for a high tackle on Remi Casty early in the second half of the same top-flight fixture.
The absence of Crabtree and Wardle is the last thing Huddersfield needed ahead of the Good Friday clash at Belle Vue.
But with Huby back in action and half-back Ryan Brierley in the frame following his arrival from Leigh Centurions, Anderson is looking forward to the prospect.
“Getting Craig back is very timely,” said Anderson, who was already without long-term injured prop and former Wakefield man Daniel Smith (broken foot).
“He’s a very experienced player, a good talker and a good leader, and you can sense how much he’s looking forward to getting back out there.
“I know how big a difference he could make for us.
“But at this stage we haven’t made a decision on whether he’ll be joined in the side against Wakefield by Ryan.
“He’s obviously only just joined us, but in the short time he’s been here we’ve all seen how skillful and how quick he is. He also looks a good organiser, which means all of the initial signs are very encouraging indeed.”