St Kilda will head back to Melbourne without the four points and plenty of work to do at the selection table after a bruising contest at the Gabba on Saturday night.

The Saints challenged Brisbane for most of the match, but ran out the game with just two fit players on the bench, a situation Saints coach Brett Ratten labelled as a "disaster".

Mitch Owens was replaced at the main break by Jarrod Lienert after a big head clash with Lion Lincoln McCarthy, while Daniel McKenzie was also ruled out with concussion in the third term after landing heavily in a marking contest.

Zak Jones further soured the evening, with the 27-year-old suffering a hamstring injury in the third term.

Both Owens and McKenzie will miss Round 14 through concussion protocols, while Ratten expects Jones to be sidelined for at least a week.

"From an injury front you say it was a disaster," he said.

"Owens the head clash, then McKenzie's one, I don't know how that will stack up, I'll let others work that one out.

"And then Jones with a hamstring, so tipping he won't play on a six-day (break) with a hamstring. He'll miss a bit of time."

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The Saints are likely to regain Hunter Clark and Jack Billings to ease the injury pain, who both impressed in the VFL on Saturday afternoon, with 31 and 24 disposals respectively.

Next set to face Essendon in a prime-time clash on Friday night, Ratten conceded that his team had improvements to make.

"I thought we showed some real glimpses, but we need to be better than that," he said.

"We had moments in the game, moments where we played really well. We just didn't have enough of them.

"We got to about 10 minutes in (the last quarter) and thought 'we're just hanging in here'.

"There was a couple of little opportunities, but then it just became an avalanche at the end and we were just hanging in there with 10, 12, 14 minutes to go."

The Lions didn't get off free in the bruising contest either, with captain Dayne Zorko suffering a hamstring injury in the third term, while Darcy Gardiner appeared to suffer a back-related injury.

"I know only that 'Zorks' has got a sore hamstring and obviously we'll find out a little bit more about that," Brisbane coach Chris Fagan said.

"I think Darcy got a knock on those ribs again from last week. So I'm hopeful that's not too bad."