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Saints lose X-factor as hamstring sidelines star

Jack Billings was front and square with Shaun Atley at the AFLX launch - AFL,Injuries,St Kilda Saints,Jack Billings
Jack Billings was front and square with Shaun Atley at the AFLX launch

STAR St Kilda forward Jack Billings has been ruled out of AFLX after he pulled up with a hamstring issue at the club's match simulation in Sandringham last Friday.

Billings completed a running session on Monday, without hitting top speed, in a sign the club is confident the injury is minor.

St Kilda expects him to be on the sidelines for up to two weeks.

He is expected to take part in the pre-season competition and the Saints have not ruled him out of their opening JLT Community Series clash against Carlton at Ikon Park on Wednesday, February 28.

The 22-year-old played in only the first of the three 20-minute periods last Friday, covering the ground well and racking up plenty of disposals. He also booted a goal.

Billings is set to spend more time in the midfield this year after a superb 2017 that was marred only by waywardness in front of goal (23.36).

He finished the season ranked equal-seventh in goal assists per game.

With the help of new goalkicking coach Ben Dixon, Billings has changed his run-up to make it more similar to his field kicking.

He played every game last year but has been hampered by shin and ankle injuries in the past.