FIT-AGAIN winger Martin Aspinwall has moved a step closer to making a Giants’ Super League return.
The Great Britain winger, right, emerged unscathed from his second comeback game for the Reserves at Wigan over the weekend.
His fitness will be assessed again today, and if he shows no signs of reaction, the 26-year-old could be in Sunday’s top-flight squad to face Hull at the KC Stadium.
That would be his first senior game since suffering a serious knee injury in the home Super League clash against Warrington last July.
But Giants staff are still prepared to play the waiting game over his fitness if it is felt he’s still not 100%.
“Martin is now very close, there’s no doubt about that,” said Giants coach Jon Sharp.
“He had another very solid game for the Reserves on Sunday, and made a positive impression.
“But the key now is how he shapes up in training this week.
“Today’s a big day for him. If he can prove to everyone he’s suffering no ill effects from playing another 80 minutes at the weekend, then he’ll have done his chances no harm at all.
“But if he’s still not right there’s no way we’ll risk him.
“Fortunately, the form of Michael Lawrence has been something of a revelation and he’s let no-one down at all with his performances on the wing. I would have no hesitation in sticking with him.
“However, it would be fantastic to know Martin might be available for selection again, especially when there were initial fears he could be out for all of this season.”
As well as Aspinwall, there’s also a chance top prop John Skandalis could return this weekend.
The influential Australian has missed his side’s last two games after suffering a bad dead leg in the home game against Catalans Dragons.
His chances of playing at this stage are rated as 50-50.
But, like with Aspinwall, the Giants will leave nothing to chance.
“John is another player whose fitness will be assessed very closely during the week,” added Sharp.
“He’s also close to returning but, like with Martin, we obviously won’t include him if he’s not right.”
Another player who could be back in the first-team fold on Sunday is second-rower Stuart Jones.
He was again in action for the Reserves, along with Aspinwall, in the 40-22 Reserves defeat at the hands of the Warriors.
George Gatis was also in the line-up and the Australian hooker marked his final game for the club by scoring his side’s opening try.
Jones chipped in with two tries, while Brent Paiche also scored and Scott Glassell added three goals.
Underbank Rangers’ Conference National clash at Warrington Wizards was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.