MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 02: Jake Carlisle of the Saints watches on during the 2019 JLT Community Series AFL match between the North Melbourne Kangaroos and the St Kilda Saints at Avalon Airport Oval on March 02, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

St Kilda will be without Jake Carlisle for the majority of the 2019 season, with the 27-year-old set for a lengthy stint on the sidelines.

Carlisle will soon have surgery on his lower back after seeing a specialist on Tuesday regarding nerve pressure following a disc protrusion.

The specialist told the Saints surgery was the best option, and the defender is set to be sidelined for six weeks following the operation.

However, Carlisle’s rehab program is expected to last several months, which could take him until the final few rounds of the home-and-away season before he’s fit to play.

St Kilda’s General Manager of Football Simon Lethlean spoke to the club’s website to confirm the process.

“When he’s playing well, we know Jake is one of the best defenders in the game, so it’s obviously disappointing not to have him available,” Lethlean told saints.com.au.

“Given he hasn’t been able to train with any intensity since Christmas we were able to prepare for the start of the season knowing he would likely be missing, but unfortunately he will now miss a considerable amount of football.

“Guys like Josh Battle and Darragh Joyce have stepped up over the summer and will get their opportunity which is exciting.

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“Thankfully with Dylan Roberton back, joined by the likes of Jarryn Geary, Jimmy Webster and Nathan Brown, we have good experience in our backline that will be able to help fill the void.”