Saints defend AFL injury management

Michael Ramsey
Jake Carlisle injured his ribs against Melbourne and has since suffered a minor lung puncture

St Kilda coach Alan Richardson has defended the AFL club's management of Jake Carlisle after the key defender suffered a punctured lung during treatment for a rib injury.

Carlisle, who has been ruled out of Saturday's clash with Port Adelaide, is understood to have been receiving a pain-relieving injection when he suffered a minor puncture to his lung prior to Thursday's main training session.

The 26-year-old hurt his ribs during last week's upset win over Melbourne when he copped a knee to the back from Demons forward Jesse Hogan.

"He needed to get some assistance to try and deaden a bit of the pain and in that process, there was a really slight puncture to his lung," Richardson told reporters at Melbourne Airport on Friday.

"It's quite a common procedure, it happens a bit. I've been in a lot of footy clubs and that is the way that injury is dealt with and treated.

"We've got an outstanding group of medicos that do a really good job. There's always a slight risk and obviously that's what's happened."

Richardson received an update from the club doctor on Friday and said he was "reasonably confident" Carlisle would be available to face Carlton next week.

Carlisle is one of three players the Saints have lost to injury this week in a brutal comedown from their victory over Melbourne.

Luckless forward Josh Bruce had been set to return from a back injury but broke his leg at training after colliding with a teammate in a marking contest.

Scans meanwhile revealed youngster Josh Battle suffered a fractured eye socket during the win over the Demons.

The injuries have shortened the odds of Port Adelaide maintaining their supremacy over the Saints when the two sides meet at Adelaide Oval.

Star midfielder-forward Robbie Gray, who kicked a goal with seconds left to win their last clash, has been a major focus in St Kilda's planning with skipper Jarryn Geary and the returning Jimmy Webster among his potential opponents.

Logan Austin, Sam Gilbert and Nathan Wright have also been recalled while Nathan Brown (hamstring) and Bailey Rice (omitted) were the other casualties for the Saints.

Port Adelaide recalled big-name recruit Jack Watts among four changes with Jasper Pittard (hamstring) leading the omissions.