ST KILDA'S preparations for 2019 have received an early boost with Jack Steven returning to the club.

Having taken personal leave from the club in late February, it is understood Steven trained with the Saints on Friday at Moorabbin.

The four-time club best and fairest also headed to Ballarat on Sunday for the JLT Series win over the Western Bulldogs, sitting in the coaches box.

"It was so good for the group to see Jacko here today," coach Alan Richardson said.

"He's a shocking watcher of footy, he couldn't watch the game, he couldn't watch it last week (against North Melbourne) when he was away from the club."

When asked of Steven's chances for round one, Richardson said it was in the hands of others.

"We'll just wait on the experts (to tell us) that he's right to go," coach Alan Richardson said.

Steven is expected to train fully this week ahead of the Saints' season opener against Gold Coast at Marvel Stadium on March 24.