CAUTIOUS Giants coach Jon Sharp is prepared to be patient over the fitness of key duo Martin Aspinwall and John Skandalis.
Great Britain winger Aspinwall, left, is now available for selection following major knee surgery nine months ago, while top prop Skandalis is close to a return after missing the weekend defeat to Wakefield with a dead leg.
But Sharp is not prepared to bring them back too early and will err on the side of caution.
“It’s fantastic knowing I’ve got two players of this quality waiting in the wings to get back in first-team action,” said Sharp.
“But it’s crucial not to bring them back too soon.
“The dead leg John picked up in the game against Catalans the other week was a bad one, and another week’s rest should do him a lot of good.
“And giving Martin another game in the Reserves this weekend is probably the best course of action.
“The plan the other week was to give Martin a run in the Reserves and then let him play against Halifax in the Cup.
“But (assistant coach) Paul Anderson suffered a similar knee injury to this and said that it felt really sore in his second game back, not the first.
“We don’t want that to happen with Martin.
“We would rather give him another run in the Reserves and make sure he’s feeling even better and stronger when it comes to a first-team return. But knowing he’ll soon be back in senior action is great news.”
That means Aspinwall’s next game is likely to be the Giants’ re-arranged Reserves fixture at Wigan on Sunday morning.
Coach Andy Procter’s side will be in action at 11.30am at Edge Hall looking to pick up a fifth win from seven starts.
And if they can produce the form they showed in destroying Wakefield Trinity Wildcats 52-12, they will put themselves in an excellent position to triumph.
Boosted by the return of fit-again Aspinwall and experienced Super League campaigner Stuart Jones, the Giants dominated from start to finish.
Both men produced excellent displays, as too did young senior squad man James Martin, who scored two tries to put the disappointment of an injury-hit and illness-hit start to the season behind him.
There were also two tries from Thomas Hemingway and Jermaine McGillvray, with others coming from Michael Brown and Chris Donlan.
And Hemingway also chipped in with eight goals to finish with a personal haul of 24 points.
Huddersfield’s Academy side is also now up and running, and they opened their season with a narrow 20-18 defeat at Hull, who are always strong at this level.
The Giants tries were scored by Elliott Hodgson, Ryan Gorman and Ed Barber, who also added three goals.
They now face Castleford Tigers at The Jungle tomorrow night (7.30).