Alan Richardson has turned to Dan McKenzie to fill the void left by St Kilda captain Jarryn Geary.
The courageous defender was the only change made at the selection table as the Saints prepare to tackle Adelaide at Marvel Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
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McKenzie returns after missing last week’s win over Melbourne with concussion, edging out several contenders for a spot in the final team.
Geary remains in hospital after surgery on Saturday night to relieve pressure in his quadricep, brought on by a severe corky.
While it remains unclear exactly how long the skipper will be sidelined for, McKenzie’s availability provides Richardson immediate cover.
The courageous defender put together a quality second half of the season in 2018, finishing inside the top 10 in the Trevor Barker Award.
His form was also strong across the first four rounds of 2019, with his best performance coming in the first half of the Round 4 clash with the Hawks.
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He will now be asked to play an important role on one of Adelaide’s many dangerous forwards, and help set the Saints up behind the ball.
The one change means there was no room for the supremely talented Hunter Clark and speed machines Robbie Young and Nick Hind.
Brandon White, Darragh Joyce, Luke Dunstan, Nick Coffield and Jonathon Marsh are others who continue bang the door down as the selection squeeze continues.
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Ruckman Billy Longer is also closing in on a return, named an emergency alongside Joyce, Marsh and Hind.
The St Kilda-listed players not selected for the AFL team will enjoy a rest this weekend with Sandringham having the bye in the VFL.
Ins: Dan McKenzie
Out: Jarryn Geary (quad)