Saints star to miss round one

18 February 2021 17:08:51 GMTPlus11

St Kilda ruckman Rowan Marshall will be forced to miss the start of the 2021 AFL season after suffering a stress injury in his foot.

The news comes as a setback with the season fast approaching and Marshall has been told that round one will come too soon for him.

Marshall will be on the sidelines for at least a month so it means Saints will more than likely turn to Paddy Ryder to fill the void in the opening rounds.

Saints do have other options though including Shaun McKernan, while Paul Hunter could now be offered a list spot as he continues to train with the club.

Saints chief operating officer Simon Lethlean admits it is a setback but says they will not rush the player back to ensure he is full recovered.

"To have this happen right before the season is obviously disappointing given Rowan is such an important player in our squad," Lethlean said.

"Fortunately, we identified the injury very early, Rowan is not in any pain and there's no fracture to the bone which is a good result.

"These types of injuries are ones that you just need to monitor and take your time with, so we'll work closely with Rowan to make sure it continues improve so that he can return as soon as possible early in the season."

St Kilda have been hit with a number of injuries in pre-season with Zak Jones on the sidelines with a hamstring problem, while Dan Hannebery also has a calf issue.

St Kilda are priced at 14/1 to win the AFL grand final.

View all Australian Rules betting