St Kilda's Zak Jones has been granted a leave of absence from the club on the eve of the new season.

Jones featured in last week's practice match against Carlton and was one of the Saints' best on the day but now looks set for a delayed start to the 2022 campaign.

St Kilda released a statement on Friday afternoon signalling their support of Jones' decision to put his well being first.

Chief Operating Officer Simon Lethlean said that the club would stand by Jones and allow him as much time as he needs.

"Zak Jones has been granted a leave of absence to focus on his personal health and wellbeing," Lethlean said in a statement.

"Zak’s welfare is the number one priority and he will be given as much time as he needs, with the full support of the club.

"On behalf of the Jones family, we request their privacy is respected at this time."

The Saints face a make or break season with their list raising eyebrows after a disappointing 2021. St Kilda missed the finals after making a semi-final the season prior.

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With coach Brett Ratten going into the last year of his contract, the pressure could quickly mount at RSEA Park should the Saints get off to a slow start.

The Saints will be without are without Nick Coffield for the season while Paddy Ryder and Dan Hannebery are under some doubt for the start of the season.

St Kilda play Essendon at Marvel Stadium on Saturday night in the AAMI Community Series before taking on Collingwood in Round 1 on March 18th.