ST KILDA midfielder Dan Hannebery is angling for a return this weekend, with the club's longer break ahead of Monday night's fixture against Adelaide putting the veteran onballer back in the selection frame.
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Hannebery missed the Saints' defeat to Fremantle last weekend after battling a hamstring injury, with the club initially anticipating that the hard-running midfielder could miss up to a month due to the setback.
However, the nine-day turnaround between fixtures has given Hannebery an outside chance to meet the Crows at Adelaide Oval next Monday evening, with the Saints suggesting he could replace the suspended Ben Long.
St Kilda will be without Long for the next three matches after he was handed a hefty punishment by the AFL Tribunal for a bump that concussed Fremantle's Sean Darcy, with Shane Savage, Jimmy Webster and Dan McKenzie also touted as potential replacements.
Saints coach Brett Ratten also suggested Paddy Ryder could return to the team in a forward role, which would mean captain Jarryn Geary returns to his customary position in the backline.
"(Hannebery) is going pretty well," Ratten said.
"He's trying to make a case for this week. He's trained really well and the longer break has given him an opportunity.
"We'll just work out … is it this week, is it the Port Adelaide game (in round eight), or do we give him one extra week after that?
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"That's a decision where we'll probably sit down tomorrow with the medicos and start to go through and plan it … it does change a fair bit.
"Hopefully Dan is pushing (to replace Long), but if he's not we'll make a decision to go a bit easier with him this week and start to build it up for the following week. That will change his program slightly."