Dougal Howard in action during the match between St Kilda and Gold Coast at Marvel Stadium in round 13, 2024. Picture: Getty Images

ST KILDA key defender Dougal Howard will be sidelined for the next month after suffering his second hamstring strain of 2024 in the narrow win over Gold Coast at Marvel Stadium. 

The 28-year-old was substituted out of the game on Saturday night before quarter-time and is set to miss at least four weeks after scans confirmed another strain to his left hamstring. 

Howard missed the first couple of months of the season after straining his hamstring in the AAMI Community Series on the eve of the campaign, returning against Port Adelaide in round seven. 

With Howard ruled out in the short-term, starting this Friday night against Brisbane at the Gabba, Zaine Cordy is a seasoned option Ross Lyon will consider. 

The 27-year-old played the first seven games of the season in the absence of Howard, after playing the final six games of 2023, including the elimination final against Greater Western Sydney, when the former Power backman broke his wrist. 

Zaine Cordy attempts to mark during the VFL match between Sandringham and Richmond at Trevor Barker Beach Oval on May 19, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

Tasmanian draftee Arie Schoenmaker was the carryover emergency against the Suns and will also come under consideration for a debut after strong form for Sandringham in the VFL. 

The defender has had no trouble finding the ball since being drafted, averaging 25.9 disposals and 6.7 marks playing off half-back, but the defensive side of his game has been a focus area. 

Arie Schoenmaker in action during St Kilda's training session at RSEA Park on April 30, 2024. Picture: Getty Images

St Kilda coach Ross Lyon has blooded plenty of youth in his second season back at Moorabbin, providing opportunities to four of the five players – Darcy Wilson, Lance Collard, Angus Hastie and Hugo Garcia – they selected last November, while pre-season draft pick Riley Bonner has played every game since receiving an AFL lifeline.