Jack Sinclair during the round 15 match between St Kilda and Brisbane at Marvel Stadium on June 23, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

ST KILDA star Jack Sinclair is targeting a round one return as he recovers from a calf issue.

The dual All-Australian won't play in the Saints' two pre-season matches, with the club saying it is managing Sinclair's workload ahead of the start of the season.

"Jack Sinclair, it's about making sure his body is tip-top for the season proper so we'll manage his workload over the coming weeks," Saints' footy boss David Misson said.

While the Saints are confident Sinclair will be back to play Geelong in round one, goalsneak Dan Butler (ankle) and off-season recruit Paddy Dow (knee) are "touch-and-go" for the opening rounds of the season, with both given a 3-4 week timeline to return to action.

Defender Hunter Clark will miss Friday's match simulation against Essendon due to concussion, but is on track to feature in the Saints' AAMI Community Series match against North Melbourne on March 3, while Zak Jones will miss both pre-season fixtures as he recovers from a concussion of his own.

Hunter Clark is hurt at St Kilda training. Picture: St Kilda FC

"Hunter is currently training non-contact, but we won’t rush him back this week," Misson said.

"Zak will continue to work through concussion protocols, which we will continue to monitor closely."

After tearing a pectoral muscle in early February, Ben Paton has undergone surgery and faces up to 16 weeks on the sidelines.

Forward Jack Hayes (knee) and defender James Van Es (ankle) are both at least five weeks away from full fitness after their respective surgeries.