Saints count injury costs of loss in Brisbane


St Kilda is reckoning with the cost of their loss to Brisbane, as they face several injury-forced changes leading up to a tight turnaround for their clash with Essendon.

Mitch Owens and Daniel McKenzie suffered concussions on either side of half-time during Saturday night’s 21-point loss at the Gabba, while Zak Jones didn’t finish the game after a hamstring injury in the third quarter.

The AFL’s enforced 12-day hiatus automatically clears young gun Owens and resurgent wingman McKenzie from Friday night’s game, while Jones has an extensive history of hamstring injuries.

Zak Jones of the Saints celebrates a goal.

“McKenzie concussion, Owens concussion and Jones a hamstring injury. So we lost three,” Saints coach Brett Ratten said.

“It really tested us, but that’s part of the game.

“It wasn’t like we were running away from ‘that was a disaster, a complete disaster’. I guess from an injury front you would say it was a disaster.

“Lose three players that you would probably say are not playing: Owens head clash and then McKenzie’s. I don’t know how it will stack up. Anyway, I’ll let others work that out.

“Dan Jones with a hamstring, I’m tipping he won’t play on a six-day (break) with a hamstring. He’ll be missing some time.”

There are a number of potential strong replacements on hand for the sixth-seeded Saints.

Young gun Nasiah Wanganeen-Milera was managed and did not play on Saturday, while both Jack Billings and Hunter Clark were overlooked.

All three seem to be battling the hapless Bombers.

In Sandringham’s 44-point VFL loss to Southport on Saturday, Billings had 32 disposals, nine points and a goal, Clark had 24 touches and five tackles and Ryan Byrnes had 26 disposals.

“Billings played pretty well today. Clark played solid, came through, which is good,” Ratten said.

“Ryan Byrnes has played very well. Wasn’t so good today, but he is playing quite well and Nasiah will also be on the roster.”