Steven a chance for Saints

March 19, 2019 12:45 pm in by

ST Kilda’s star midfielder Jack Steven is a strong chance for their Round 1 match against Gold Coast on Sunday in some welcome news for the injury-ravaged club.

With some big names sidelined through injury – including gun defender Jake Carlisle – Steven is set to return at Marvel Stadium after overcoming mental health issues which saw him take leave last month from the AFL club.

Saints coach Alan Richardson said the health of the four-time best and fairest medallist was now strong and he just needed to pass some physical hurdles at training to play.

Article continues after this ad

“The docs think that Jacko is in a really good space which is brilliant,” Richardson said on Tuesday.

“He’s going well although he’s still got a couple of boxes he needs to tick.

“Right now it’s probably a line ball but he’s a terrific player so we will give him every opportunity.”

The news isn’t so good for big-money recruit Dan Hannebery, who has been battling a hamstring injury, or Paddy McCartin, who is out after a concussion in their last JLT match.

Richardson said the ex-Swan’s return date of round two was now unlikely, and he would target a comeback through the VFL.

Article continues after this ad

“Dan’s had a frustrating period as whenever we’ve upped the training load and intensity he’s not quite getting there and has been getting sore,” Richardson said.

McCartin, whose concussion was his eighth since 2015, is still suffering some affects from the knock and isn’t training.

Richardson said he didn’t think the 22-year-old’s career was in doubt.

“Those sorts of conversations haven’t been had,” the coach said.

The Saints are looking to improve on last season’s 16th and Richardson said the group was positive despite the injury setbacks.

Article continues after this ad

“I’ve liked what I’ve seen through the JLT games,” he said.

“The guys have embraced some of the changes we’ve made and are in really good shape physically.”

© AAP 2019


Keep up to date

Sign up for our newsletter