St Kilda skipper Nick Riewoldt and star midfielder Leigh Montagna have been ruled out of Saturday’s ANZAC Day clash against Carlton.
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Riewoldt won’t play in New Zealand due to a calf injury suffered before his side’s loss to Collingwood last week, while Montagna is still suffering from a knee injury he picked up against the Greater Western Sydney Giants in round one.
Saints football performance manager Jamie Cox said putting Riewoldt through a fitness test would carry to much risk.
“Nick’s injury is probably at the stage where we thought to test him for this week would put him in danger of doing further damage,” Cox is quoted as saying by AFL.com.au.
“We’ve withdrawn him early and he won’t be making the trip to Wellington.
“If we were playing at home, he wouldn’t have been available either unfortunately. It’s irrespective of travel.
“We can’t promise (he’ll play) next week but we’ll keep an eye on him. He’s obviously desperate to play as soon as possible and we’ll be desperate to have him back when he can. He will be a week by week proposition now until he emerges.”
Cox said Montagna faced the same risks as Riewoldt and wouldn’t play this weekend.
“He hasn’t come up this week which we weren’t overly surprised about. He’s (also) very much week by week,” Cox said.
“There was a lot of emotion around round one as well and he absolutely pushed himself hard to get up and played a terrific game.
“Hindsight is a great thing in footy, but he probably did do some damage there which has seen him miss a couple of weeks.”
The Saints and the Blues take their round four clash across the ditch to Wellington in an ANZAC Day clash.
St Kilda head to New Zealand with a 1-2 record, but will be reeling from its comprehensive defeat to Collingwood last Friday.
Carlton on the other hand have lost all three of its matches, but Mick Malthouse’s side will be liking its chances against a depleted Saints outfit.