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 midfielder Dan Hannebery could make a sudden return to the Saints line-up in Round 18 for their must-win clash against GWS, reports Fox Sports. 

Hannebery has trained away from the playing group in the AFL’s transition hub alongside the likes of Gary Ablett and Shane Edwards.

He has been training strongly which has forced the club into a tough selection call in a game they must win if they want to play finals in 2020 after a tough loss to the West Coast Eagles on Thursday night.

According to Fox Sports assistant Jarryd Roughead and physio Andrew Wallis were given instructions to push Hannebery to his max, and Roughead said he pulled up well.

“Watching him today and seeing how he attacked [training] six or seven weeks after hamstring surgery he did not look out of shape out here with those two boys (Edwards and Ablett) who have been going for a fair clip for a while now,” Roughead said.

“It is good to see that he is putting his hand up to want to play and get there.

“If you are picking a bloke like that with finals experience and with a young group who hasn‘t been there, someone like him around the group is pretty valuable.”

The Saints have lost three of their last four games and need to beat GWS to guarantee their finals spot.

Hannebery was set to return in finals, but with a must win clash ahead of them, he may be forced to return sooner than expected.

Hannebery hasn’t played since Round 5, but Roughead and Wallis have told the club that he looks physically ready to go.

Hannebery has had a tough run with injuries since his arrival at the Saints but he is one of a select few players on the Saints list with any finals experience, meaning the club faces a tough selection ahead of their must win game.

Should Hannebery be right to go, it’s expected he would be an immediate walk in to the Saints best 22 to face the Giants in Round 18.