Basketball: Craven returns to speed up Giants' flight in jet stream

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Danny Craven returns tomorrow after a seven-month lay-off as Manchester Giants try for the second time in five days to stop Chester Jets' runaway form at the top of the Budweiser League.

Craven, 24, made only 15 club appearances last season and had knee surgery in July. His return has forced Joe Whelton to reshuffle to fit Craven under the salary cap. After releasing the former England international Dave Gardner to accommodate his new signing, Colin Irish, Whelton has now released Peter Deppisch and Paul Boden.

On Wednesday Giants lost 72-63 at home to Chester, the night after Jets reached the first major semi-final in the club's history by beating Thames Valley Tigers in the 7-Up Trophy.

Dwayne Morton, who played for the NBA's Golden State, makes his debut for Newcastle Eagles at Leicester City Riders tonight. Riders' English centre Andy Betts has returned to his American university after helping the club into the last four of the Trophy with their midweek victory over Birmingham Bullets.

London Towers will join Leicester, Chester and Sheffield Sharks in the semi-finals if they defend a 32-point first leg lead at home to Leopards tomorrow.