BALLARAT, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 10: Dan Hannebery of the Saints looks on in the crowd during the 2019 JLT Community Series AFL match between the Western Bulldogs and the St Kilda Saints at Mars Stadium on March 10, 2019 in Ballarat, Australia. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

St Kilda’s marquee recruit Dan Hannebery won’t make any contribution to his new club on-field for the first four rounds of the 2019 season, according to SEN’s Sam McClure.

Since crossing to the Saints on a mega five-year deal, the ex-Swan has experienced hamstring tightness throughout the pre-season and subsequently didn’t feature at all in St Kilda’s JLT Community Series.

“He was training away from the main group; he’s been struggling with that hamstring,” McClure told SEN’s Whateley.

“It’s become a bit of a calf issue, as well.

“When you do all the maths, I would say it’s more likely that we’d be seeing Dan Hannebery, AFL-wise, all things going well, (from) round five onwards.

“It’s not a great result, they have signed him on a long-term deal.”

St Kilda head coach Alan Richardson spoke to the media on Tuesday and addressed the midfielder’s health concerns.

“He’s had a frustrating period, Dan,” Richardson said.

“Whenever we up the load and the intensity as close as we can get it on the training track to game day, he’s not quite getting there.

“That could take a while.”

Hannebery is joined on a growing Saints injury list by another prize recruit Jake Carlisle (back, majority of the season), Dylan Roberton (heart, season), Billy Longer (hamstring, 1-2 weeks), Paddy McCartin (concussion, TBC), as well as young guns Jack Bytel (back, season), Max King (knee, 6-12 weeks) and Oscar Claravino (ankle, 4-6 weeks).

In some relief for the club, Jack Steven has declared he is aiming for a round one return after taking leave from the club to battle mental health issues.

On a positive note for the Saints, young gun Jack Billings has been elevated to the club’s leadership group, as a replacement for Dylan Roberton.

The 23-year-old rounds out the five-man leadership group for the Saints.

The Saints open their 2019 campaign against Gold Coast at Marvel Stadium on Sunday afternoon.