Wounded Saints rule out Membrey for Dockers AFL opener

St Kilda have confirmed key forward Tim Membrey is out of action for their AFL opener against Fremantle as they deal with a long injury list.

Luckless defender Nick Coffield will also have a delayed start to the season as he returns from a knee reconstruction.

Coffield and midfielder Seb Ross are out of Sunday's twilight game at Marvel Stadium with calf muscle injuries.

The Saints have 14 injured players heading into the season as coach Ross Lyon makes his return.

They are particularly short of tall forwards, with Max King (shoulder) and Matthew Allison (foot) also injured.

There is speculation teenager Anthony Caminiti could fill the breach, a month after St Kilda signed the 19-year-old during the league's pre-season supplementary selection period.

After missing out in the national draft, Caminiti had been training with Carlton's VFL side when the Saints invited him to train with them.

He made an immediate impact and was signed within a week.

There were hopes Membrey would return from his knee surgery in time for Sunday, but there is stlll no confirmation on when he will be back.

Coffield hurt his calf at training last week and will not be back for four to six weeks.

Ross is likely to be sidelined for one to two weeks with his calf problem, while Marcus Windhager (hand) and Max Heath (ankle) are yet to prove their fitness ahead of Sunday's game.

In more bad news for the Saints, scans have shown that Jack Hayes' recovery from a foot injury is going slower than hoped and he will not return until closer to the bye.

"Obviously, this is not an ideal situation to have Nick join the injury list, particularly after the difficult year he has had," Saints acting football manager David Misson said.

"In the case of Tim and Seb, we need to think longer term and make sure we're not rushing them unnecessarily."