St Kilda coach Alan Richardson will head down the highway to Geelong without his star recruit, with Dan Hannebery unable to recover from hamstring soreness for the second consecutive week.
Dan Hannebery will miss out for St Kilda again.Credit:AAP
It’s understood Hannebery, who’s been training strongly since building back up from hamstring and calf issues, is suffering from a hot spot in his hamstring.
The club remains confident the issue will settle down over the weekend and that he’ll be fit to take on the Western Bulldogs next Sunday.
‘‘I guess after a long lay-off of nine or 10 months it’s not unlikely that I would pull up a bit sore and needed to manage that,’’ Hannebery said late yesterday.
He said he was frustrated he would miss another week.
‘‘Even though I did train strongly and got through it and had no general soreness, I guess with the history and missing a week and missing a few sessions, it was decided to have a week off at this stage.’’
Hannebery has played two games in the seniors, collecting 27 disposals in his debut against Brisbane and following it up with 23 touches against Richmond.
It’s a significant blow for the Saints, with their embattled coach understood to be facing the axe if his team are blown out of the water by the ladder leaders.
Although it’s understood St Kilda’s administration could decide to part ways with Richardson after another poor performance, former captain Nick Riewoldt believed there shouldn’t be any extra pressure on the coach this week.
‘‘It’s been pretty steady for about 12 months now,’’ Riewoldt said on SEN. ‘‘I don’t see why this week is any different to three weeks ago. If anything, the expectation this week is less, so if we’re being realistic about what we’re expecting them to go down there and do, go and have a look at the team.’’
St Kilda last week played down Hannebery’s absence against North Melbourne, stating it was always part of the plan that the former Swan would need a rest after an injury-marred pre-season campaign. And the club remains resolute that they will do the best for Hannebery’s long-term future, given he signed a four-year contract.
Hannebery labelled himself ‘‘110 per cent’’ chance to play next week. The Saints have been cruelled by injury in a season that ominously coincided with a make or break year for Richardson.
Hannebery, star defender Jake Carlisle and four time best and fairest Jack Steven have barely played this year.
Carlisle has only just returned from back surgery and Steven, who is back training at the club and pushing for senior selection before the end of the season, took a break to deal with mental health issues.
In a further injury blow, Josh Battle went down last weekend with a strain to his medial ligament and has been replaced by veteran Nathan Brown.
But in better news, Jack Lonie will make his return from a knee injury after more than two months out following his last performance against Adelaide in round six.
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