St Kilda head coach Ross Lyon expects key forward Tim Membrey to "really deliver" in 2024 after the veteran suffered injury and mental health setbacks last season.

Membrey's 2023 season was capped at just seven appearances after battling a knee injury early in the season before withdrawing from the Saints' elimination final against the Giants due to mental health concerns.

Now three months on from St Kilda's early exit from September, Membrey has returned to Moorabbin, with Lyon lauding the former Swans' ability and preparedness.

"He's in really good shape, he's blossoming, he feels good and he's got a lot of support," Lyon said of the 29-year-old.

"I think that's the beauty and there's no stigma. It's more complicated than it just seems, so we're thrilled with where he's at."

Though not out on the track for Wednesday's session, Lyon pressed that Membrey was fighting fit and would continue to play a key role in red, white and black.

"As you get older you get (a bit of) wear and tear, so he's managed today but he basically hasn't missed a session," Lyon added.

"He's four kilos lighter and back to his sort of fighting weight, so to speak, with what he's been in previous years.

"We're really expecting that he can really deliver and he's been a real leader here for a long time."

With fellow key forward Max King also spending large portions of the season on the sidelines due to repetitive shoulder complaints, the Saints were forced to forge forward with Mitch Owens and rookie Anthony Caminiti leading the line.

In an early Christmas gift to Saints fans, Lyon revealed that rising forward was well ahead of schedule after going under the knife for a third surgery in the past year.

"The surgeon was pretty conservative and he didn't run for seven weeks (post-surgery) but he's really up and moving now," Lyon said.

"He's certainly had no hiccups and if you think first session last year he dislocated the shoulder and went in for the (operation).

"He's miles ahead and he'll be in full training post-Christmas."

King is expected to be joined by Jack Steele (ankle), Brad Crouch (knee) and Dan Butler (ankle) in ramping things up after the festive period, with the trio also coming off respecitve off-season surgeries.