ST KILDA is preparing for a long stretch without skipper Jarryn Geary, who remains in hospital recovering from emergency surgery.

Geary was taken to hospital after copping a heavy knock to a thigh in last Saturday's win over Melbourne, and has spent the week with an open wound to aid the drainage of blood from the affected area.

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"He's been sewn up now, that's a really important step," coach Alan Richardson told reporters on Friday.

"I dropped in (to the hospital) on the way to the (Anzac Day) game yesterday and he was in better spirits.

"Emma (Geary's wife) had just bathed him for the first time, which is important because he was pretty smelly up until that.

"It's going the way that the surgeons would hope, and he'll be out in two or three days.

"We won't see him running for a few weeks because the wound needs to heal, then it's just a matter of time as to how he responds. So, it'll be a little while."

The Saints have made one change for Saturday's clash with Adelaide at Marvel Stadium, Daniel McKenzie to return in place of Geary.

"We rate McKenzie really highly, he has a lot of attributes of Jarryn," Richardson said.

"He doesn't quite have the leadership (of Geary) at this stage, but he's going to need to communicate strongly."

Seb Ross will captain the Saints in Geary's absence.

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