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Saint Nick's 'scheduled break'

Matt Thompson  July 5, 2013 1:59 PM

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Nick Riewoldt will miss the Saints' game against Fremantle in Perth

NICK Riewoldt's absence from St Kilda's journey west to play Fremantle comes down to what coach Scott Watters has described as a "scheduled break."
 
The coach said the Saints were taking a cautionary approach with their  captain.
 
"Just a little bit of soreness with the knee, more management than an injury I guess," Watters told reporters at Melbourne Airport on Friday.  
 
"But a six day break the following week, travelling, getting on a flight, probably not a great recipe."
 
Watters said the club stood by a decision earlier this week to pull Riewoldt from a scheduled interview on Fox Footy's On the Couch, citing the distraction of the Stephen Milne case.
 
"We want our players to concentrate on their footy at this point, we certainly don't want to shy away from our media responsibilities," Watters said. 
 
"It can be distracting for players and we want to give them every chance to do what they're paid to do and that's to play footy."
 
Watters insisted it wasn't a case of the club not being able to trust the captain on live television.
 
"It's got nothing to do with that at all. Nick's a terrific media performer, a great captain," Watters said.
 
The Saints take on Fremantle on Sunday and have travelled with one of the most inexperienced squads in Watters' time. It includes 11 players with under 25 games experience.
 
Watters expressed confidence in veteran Justin Koschitzke reaching the 200 game milestone, despite also missing this week with soreness.
 
Lenny Hayes is the Saints marquee inclusion against a Fremantle side welcoming back four of its best players in Matthew Pavlich, David Mundy, Michael Barlow and Aaron Sandilands.
 
Matt Thompson is a reporter for AFL Media. Follow him on Twitter @MattThompsonAFL