At a glance:
- Rowan Marshall has been given the green light to face West Coast on Saturday afternoon.
- The 25-year-old has spent the past month on the sidelines nursing a hotspot in his foot.
- Marshall is likely to be joined by ruck partner Paddy Ryder within three to four weeks.
Rowan Marshall is a confirmed starter for St Kilda’s encounter with West Coast, with senior coach Brett Ratten giving the ruckman the all-clear for Saturday afternoon.
Marshall was sidelined for the first three matches of the year with a hotspot in his foot.
“He’s been itching and been asking multiple times ‘can I play, can I play?’,” Ratten said this morning.
“I’ve just been saying ‘hold your horses, big fella’, we’ve got to get you right, but he’s ready to go which is great.
“We’ll monitor his workload through the game, but he’s pretty clear to play all of it.”
Marshall is set to lock horns with the red-hot Nic Naitanui at Marvel Stadium, with the star Eagle leading all ruckmen in the league for total clearances (21) this season.
“Nic Nat just prancing around the centre bounce and the way he’s winning centre bounces and contributing to them with follow-up as well, he’s in good form,” Ratten said.
“That’s what footy’s about, it’s the next challenge around the corner and who you’ve got. For Rowan, that will be Nic, which there’s probably none bigger.
“Ro probably will need a rest, so whether it’s Shaun McKernan or Josh Battle or we think about Paul Hunter coming back in, there’s a few options there.”
Marshall is likely to be joined by fellow ruckman Paddy Ryder in the coming weeks, with the 33-year-old returning from personal leave earlier this week.
Ratten indicated the All-Australian would be at least three weeks away from a senior berth.
“He’s got to do a little bit more work, but the good part is he came in with a big smile,” Ratten said.
“That was the real pleasing part for us, to see a happy Paddy and him being back at the footy club.
“To do the things that he had to do at home, he seems in a really good spot and we’ll have to monitor his workload and get him to a point where he’s ready to play.
“He’s done a fair bit of work away, but he probably hasn’t done all the work that the boys have been doing here, so we’ve got to bridge that gap a little bit.”