St Kilda ruckman Billy Longer has been ruled out of this week's crucial clash with Essendon due to a hamstring injury.

Longer sustained the injury during the Saints' 67-point thumping of the Tigers on Saturday night, but managed to play out the match.

He will be replaced in the side by Tom Hickey.

Coach Alan Richardson told reporters on Thursday the injury to Longer is only minor and he expects the ruckman to be fit to take on the Swans next week.

"Billy won't play, but we are really optimistic for next week," Richardson said.

"(Hickey) gets his opportunity, he's in pretty good form. We pulled him out of the game on the weekend because we knew Billy was going to be in some doubt.

"We're really excited for 'Hick'. He gets the opportunity, we know last year he played some outstanding footy for the club, and that's what we expect."

St Kilda host the Bombers at Etihad Stadium on Friday night.