ENGLAND prop Eorl Crabtree is closing in on a return to Giants Super League action.
The 27-year-old has been sidelined with ankle ligament damage suffered during the defeat at St Helens on June 11.
The injury was expected to keep him out of action for at least a month, but he has been named in coach Nathan Brown’s provisional 19-man squad for tomorrow’s trip to Castleford Tigers.
Also included is hooker Shaun Lunt, who pulled out of last week’s side to face Hull KR at the last minute with a slight knock.
But back-rower Stephen Wild has failed to recover from a hamstring strain suffered during the Rovers game.
He should, however, be back for next Sunday’s home clash against Crusaders, when fellow back-rower Martin Aspinwall could also be included after recovering from a groin injury.
Hosts Castleford have been forced into making changes, with prop Liam Higgins ruled out after suffering a leg injury in last week’s win over Bradford and loan signing Kyle Wood ineligible to play against the club from whom he is on loan.
Former Huddersfield centre James Evans, who has missed the last five games with a stomach muscle problem is back in contention and another ex-Giant Ryan Clayton is also in the frame after missing out recently following a facial injury.
Other Tigers who have been at the Galpharm and look certain to play are Ryan Hudson, Steve Snitch Stuart Jones and Paul Jackson.
“We have been improving week on week in this recent run of wins and we know that we will have to continue that improvement against the Giants,” said Tigers coach Terry Matterson.
The action at The Jungle gets under way at noon with an Under 20s Valvoline Cup curtain-raiser between Castleford and Huddersfield.
Changes to the Giants’ line-up that beat Hull KR last Saturday will be kept to a minimum, although scrum half Gregg McNally will be missing after joining Co-operative Championship I club Oldham on loan for the rest of the season.
Tigers: Dixon, Shenton, Evans, Wainwright, Chase, Sargent, Hudson, Huby, Ferres, Snitch, Westerman, Jones, Jackson, Clayton, Thompson, McGoldrick, Widders, Milner, Arundel.
Giants: B Hodgson, Cudjoe, Lolesi, D Hodgson, Brown, Robinson, Crabtree, Lunt, Mason, Gilmour, Finnigan, Griffin, Drew, Lawrence, Faiumu, Grix, Patrick, Horne, Brough.
Referee: Thierry Alibert.