Rhys Stanley
Rhys Stanley

St Kilda's ruck crisis has gone from bad to worse with young hope Rhys Stanley ruled out for up to six weeks.

Saints doctors on Tuesday confirmed the back-up ruckman suffered a strain to his left hamstring against West Coast and will miss between four to six weeks.

Already reeling from the absence of number one ruckman Ben McEvoy, St Kilda's big man stocks took another blow when Stanley was substituted out of Sunday's loss to the Eagles with pinch-hitters Justin Koschitzke and Jason Blake unable to combat star Eagles duo Nic Naitanui and Dean Cox.

They have three potential ruckmen on their list but only 193cm Daniel Archer, who booted four goals for Sandringham at the weekend, is ready for senior football.

Stanley, 21, has played 17 games and kicked 14 goals in his AFL career since debuting for the Saints in 2010.

"It's disappointing because obviously just from a development point of view, we were really happy with the way Rhys was progressing and you can't substitute getting games into players," St Kilda coach Scott Watters told ''SEN''.

"But we'll get him right as quickly as possible, hopefully it's closer to the four week bracket to the six, but that's where it sits."

In better new for St Kilda, Stanley's subbed replacement Jamie Cripps will be available for selection this week after he sent a scare through the Saints camp by twisting his knee during the third quarter.

It was initially feared the 20-year-old had damaged his anterior cruciate ligament when he was carried from the field.

But the small forward later returned to the field in the fourth quarter and has since been cleared of serious injury.

The Saints face Sydney at Etihad Stadium on Saturday at 4.40pm.


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