St Kilda young gun Max King is in doubt to play in the club's season opener against Greater Western Sydney in eight days time.

According to is currently battling an ankle complaint and will be in a race against the clock to be fit for Round 1.

King was a key element to the Saints' success last year, booting 22 goals in his debut season as St Kilda ended their finals drought.

There is some good news for coach Brett Ratten however, with utility Zak Jones expected to face the Giants in West Sydney next week.

The 26-year-old has battled a hamstring injury this pre-season but reportedly made a stunning return to the field for the Saints' intra-club match earlier this week.

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Ratten will also be looking to fill the void left by injured veteran James Frawley, who is set to miss the next 8-10 weeks after suffering a hamstring injury in the club's AAMI Community Series win over Carlton.

Draftee Tom Highmore fronts as the leading contender to be named in Ratten's defensive unit after being selected in the 'A side' of the Saints' intra-club clash, edging out key-defender Jake Carlisle.