St Kilda's ongoing finals push is set to be aided by the awaited returns of three key-position contributors, while an update has been provided for a battered and bruised wingman.
Veteran forward Tim Membrey, burgeoning ruck-forward Jack Hayes, and utility Zaine Cordy are primed to return to the field this weekend after battling prolonged injury, meanwhile, running wingman Bradley Hill is set to be sidelined.
Membrey, a prominent feature of St Kilda's forward setup when fit and firing, has been nursing a burdensome knee injury that has required protracted rehabilitation. A return this weekend would represent his first outing since Round 9.
The quickly-adored Hayes, signed during the 2022 Supplemental Selection Period, hasn't played an AFL game since Round 6, 2022 but has appeared in two VFL matches in the last month in anticipation of an imminent AFL return.
Hamstring awareness ruled Hayes out of a third-straight VFL hit-out last weekend, however, the valuable key-position asset is firmly in the selection frame for Round 20.
Cordy, meantime, has exited concussion protocols and is available for selection, pending a final fitness test this week.
"It's pleasing to potentially have Tim, Jack, and Zaine available this week," St Kilda's acting football boss David Misson said on Monday.
"There are still a few hurdles to jump, but even having them in the frame is positive."
As for Hill, who was subject to a crunching bump during the Saints' win over North Melbourne last Sunday, scans have revealed the hard-runner has bruised lungs.
While the effects of the hit aren't severe, St Kilda's medical team is taking a cautious approach with Hill, ruling him out of this weekend's bout with Hawthorn.
"While he's avoided serious damage, Bradley will miss this week and further tests will determine his return-to-play timeline," Misson continued.
"Bradley's health is our primary concern and as such we'll take no undue risks when it comes to him returning to the field."
Lynchpin key forward Max King (shoulder) remains 2-3 weeks away from a potential return.
The Saints' meeting with the Hawks is scheduled for Sunday, July 30 at 1:10 PM (AEST) at Marvel Stadium.