Reinforcements are on the way says Ross Lyon as a potentially restocked St Kilda eyes off an important rebound this weekend against North Melbourne.

Pending a clean bill of health on the training track, starting players Max King and Mason Wood are firming towards returns from respective knee and collarbone injuries, while Jimmy Webster is eligible for selection after serving out his seven-week suspension for rough conduct during St Kilda’s AAMI Community Series game against North Melbourne.

The Saints will be forced to make at least one change to the line-up after failing to overturn Jack Higgins’ three-game suspension, however won’t be drawn into rushing back recruit Paddy Dow after making a successful return from bone bruising in his knee last weekend.


“We’re working through it. Dow will at this stage definitely be given another run at Sandringham. We want to set people up to succeed and he had a fair absence,” Lyon said.

“King, training well today, should play and then we’ve got a few others. We lost Higgins at the Tribunal so that’s not great timing for us, but we’ll accept that and move on.

“We think Wood will probably play for us, Webster’s available which is ironic against North. But because they’ve had big running blocks and haven’t been injured (from the waist down) they’re a real chance, so we’ll get through this session (and see).”

Rowan Marshall is expected to be in the selection frame despite copping a knock to his knee during last Friday’s loss against Port Adelaide.

Back-up ruckman and veteran Tom Campbell lies in wait coming off an immense 52-hitout outing in the VFL, while Jack Hayes could also provide some added support after bagging three goals in the same outing in a forward/ruck hybrid role.

“It’s an interesting one. Rowan is clearly our number one ruckman and a lot of teams go with one ruck and a mobile ruck,” Lyon said.

“We sat down at the start of the year (with Tom) and painted what that role (looks like). Clarity creates management and a clear job description keeps you mentally well.

“He’s pretty comfortable knowing we’ll call on him if needed more than unseating Rowan or us playing two rucks. But we know he can play good footy and he’s a great clubman, so we’re really pleased to have him here.”

Tom Campbell at this morning's training session at RSEA Park. Photo: Jack Cahill.

St Kilda will be intent on snapping its three-game losing streak heading into Saturday’s match-up against the currently winless North Melbourne, with coordinated effort and a focus on “teamsmanship” - despite Lyon’s satisfaction in terms of effort in the running space - top of the agenda.

“We’re staying clearly in the education space. We’re continuing to educate and then train, which we’ll continue to do in the aspects of our game,” Lyon said.

“That’s the piece that we’re a bit frustrated with. We’ve looked at footage from last year where we were a lot tighter and were able to stop teams’ ball movement a lot earlier in the chain.

“All we can do is continue to educate it. If you believe the GPS, we ran 20km more and all our GPS data tells us - benchmarked against all of 2023 and all of this year and all the zones - that we were in the quartile for everything.

“We ran quick and we ran long, but it just shows if you don’t work together and it’s just desperate individuals running around rather than working together, you don’t get it done against quality.

“We’re focussing on teamsmanship and coordinated effort.”