St Kilda midfielder Jack Billings has suffered an unfortunate setback in his return to AFL football, having sustained a broken thumb in Saturday's loss to Melbourne.

The club confirmed on Tuesday that Billings will require two weeks on the sidelines due to the injury, which adds to a frustrating 2023 season for the 27-year-old.

Billings suffered a broken leg during the pre-season and had his recovery delayed due to a hamstring injury, with the former top-10 pick playing his first game under Ross Lyon in Round 17 after returning through the VFL.

Billings will join Seb Ross (hamstring), Zaine Cordy (concussion) and Max King (shoulder) on the sidelines among the players who featured against Melbourne.

King has been ruled out for the remainder of the year after requiring surgery on his left shoulder, while Cordy has entered the AFL's concussion protocols. Ross will spend over a month in rehabilitation as he looks to recover from a grade two hamstring strain.

“Jack fractured his thumb on Saturday night, so has had surgery to address that this week,” Saints football boss Dave Misson said in a club update.

“He's looking at two weeks recovery for that injury.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 13: Jack Billings of the Saints runs out onto the field during the round 17 AFL match between the St Kilda Saints and the Carlton Blues at Etihad Stadium on July 13, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

“Scans have confirmed a grade two hamstring strain for Seb, so he's probably going to miss 4-6 weeks.

“We'll know more about Max's immediate prognosis in the next 48 hours and will share more information when we can.”

Defender Josh Battle (concussion), veteran Brad Hill (knee) and forward Jack Higgins (knee) will need to prove their fitness over the coming days to face Gold Coast this weekend.

Key forward, Tim Membrey remains up to five weeks away with a knee issue of his own.

Wingman Dan McKenzie is no certainty of playing this year as he returns to rehab for an ongoing calf issue that has hampered him since the pre-season, while Matt Allison (foot) and Nick Coffield (calf) are nearing returns through the VFL.

St Kilda will make the trip to Heritage Bank Stadium to face Gold Coast on Saturday at 2:10pm.