Dan Hannebery has ticked off a major milestone in getting through his first game for Sandringham without any injury concerns.
St Kilda’s prize recruit has spent the past few months overcoming persistent hamstring niggles, but upon building his fitness and conditioning, was able to take to Piranha Park on Sunday afternoon.
READ: The match report from Sandringham's win over Coburg
Hannebery finished with 24 disposals, five tackles and a behind in his debut for the Zebras, before watching the final term from the bench in a pre-arranged decision.
His influence didn’t just extend to when he had ball in hand, with the veteran midfielder’s leadership skills coming to the fore through his direction and guidance of the younger brigade.
Although admitting he was “rusty” in parts and overused the ball by hand (19 handballs), the 28-year-old was relieved to finally be back on the park.
"When you've been watching on the sidelines for the best part of three or four months, you're a little bit nervy, but it's good to be back out there," Hannebery said.
“The body’s feeling pretty good, I’ve obviously done a fair bit of work over the past six to eight weeks in terms of training and running and [I’m] feeling pretty strong in that regard.”
“Its just good to get through three quarters with no real niggles at all.”
Sandringham coach Aaron Hamill was pleased to see Hannebery take to the field after a trying spell on the sidelines.
“Putting together a solid hit-out [was] the most important part, and he got through well,” Hamill told saints.com.au.
“We just thought we’d keep it to three quarters just to nurse him on through, so his performance was pleasing on the whole.”
But Hannebery will be intent on doing everything possible to trade out the yellow, black and blue for the red, white and black in the coming weeks.
Long live the king— St Kilda FC (@stkildafc) June 3, 2019
Max King kicked three goals, took five contested marks and had a goal assist against Coburg. pic.twitter.com/yKK2o2Zmb7
The premiership Swan won’t see any on-field action for the next fortnight, with both St Kilda and Sandringham scheduled for the bye.
And although “frustrating”, Hannebery won’t be complacent during the break, with the 28-year-old set to undertake training sessions with club rehabilitation coaches.
“I'll get a solid week of training in and reassess in the next week or two,” Hannebery said.
"My gut feel is at least another one or so games in the VFL, but we'll wait and see."