MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 12: Paul Hunter of the Saints competes for the ball with Paddy Ryder of the Saints during a St Kilda Saints AFL training session at Moorabin on February 12, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Martin Keep/Getty Images)

Paddy Ryder and Jack Billings' seasons are in doubt as the veteran ruckman continues to battle an Achilles injury, while Billings is has suffered a strained hamstring.

St. Kilda coach Brett Ratten has told SEN's Whateley that Ryder "might not play again this year" in what would be a cruel blow for the club.

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Ratten confirmed that Ryder would miss this week's game against Sydney, with the possibility he could face a longer stint on the side-lines.

“Paddy won’t play. He’s still a bit sore,” Ratten said.

“We’ll just monitor him to see when he can come back. Whether it’s the following week or if it still maintains where it is now he might not play again this year.

“We’ll just wait and see there.”

The 33-year-old has struggled through a number of injuries over the last few years.

Multiple injuries and personal leave, has limited Ryder to just 12 games in 2021.

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Ryder's absence has been felt dramatically by the Saints. In their last 22 games, St. Kilda have had a record of 7-2 when both Ryder and Rowan Marshall have played together, and are only 3-10 when they didn't.

Ratten was asked whether it might be in the club's best interests to sit out the injury-prone ruckman for the remainder of the season.

“Yeah it is. It’s sort of risk versus reward with players that have had injuries,” Ratten said.

“Like Dougal Howard with his hamstring. He won’t play this week and it’s roughly a two-to-three-week hamstring. These decisions will be made as we go along.

“You don’t want ongoing soft tissue injuries or an injury that sets them back for pre-season or hinders them for the following year.

“These decisions will be made over the next few weeks.”

Adding to their woes, reporter Mitch Clearly has today reported that Jack Billings will miss the next 2-3 weeks after suffering a hamstring strain.

The 25-year-old is now in a race to play again this year and will join St. Kilda's long injury list.

The injury news comes at a terrible time for the Saints who are barely holding on to their finals hopes after a dour loss to Carlton last Friday night.

St. Kilda will play Sydney at Marvel Stadium on Saturday night in what is now a do-or-die game.