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Horror and hope: The two faces of St Kilda

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Concern: Jake Carlisle's season has already been derailed.Credit:AAP

Consider the St Kilda Football Club's pre-season prospectus: Their best key position player and possibly premier player, Jake Carlisle, won't play for several months after back surgery.

Their other quality defender, Dylan Roberton – brilliant in the practice matches and primed for an uplifting comeback – is done for the season, due to a heart condition that saw him grounded for nearly all of 2018.

The club's oft-concussed No. 1 draft pick from 2014, who should be entering his prime and replacing Nick Riewoldt (in position, if not capability) is likewise absent for an indefinite period, the Saints having garnered virtually no return from the first four years of Paddy's McCartin's star-crossed career.

Their most accomplished and match-turning midfielder, Jack Steven, took a leave of absence due to mental health issues and while he's returned swiftly, he might be underdone for the high-stakes first round.

And, finally, their name recruit, Dan Hannebery, is not even close to playing, due to what the coach, Alan Richardson, ominously described as a persistent soreness "anywhere to do with his legs, particularly his calves and hamstrings".

Remarkably, Richardson suggested that Hannebery would have to be rebuilt, and that the Saints had known this when they acquired the banged-up midfielder from the Swans. "Did........

© The Age