ST KILDA will put Paddy Ryder through a mini pre-season over the next fortnight after the ruckman returned to Moorabbin on Tuesday.
The 33-year-old was back in light training at RSEA Park, a month after being granted personal leave to re-connect with his family and elders in South Australia.
It comes as Port Adelaide midfielder Sam Powell-Pepper returned to Alberton on Monday after stepping away from the club to focus on his wellbeing after missing a training session in early March.
Ryder won't be available for the Saints' crunch match with West Coast on Saturday but will put his hand up for a recall in coming weeks.
While he's been completing training away from the club, the Saints will look to build his conditioning back up to AFL standard ahead of a season-defining stretch that includes the Eagles, Richmond and Port Adelaide.
No.1 ruckman Rowan Marshall will be considered for the date with Nic Naitanui and the Eagles after playing a half in a VFL practice match on Saturday following a hotspot in his foot.
The Saints' ruck division is expected to have another shake-up with Shaun McKernan and Jake Carlisle upstaged by Bomber Peter Wright in Saturday's horror loss to Essendon.
Meantime, Powell-Pepper won't be up for selection for the Power's date with Richmond on Friday night after a significant period away from the club.
"We haven't had him under our direct tutelage over the last three or four weeks so there's no doubt he's going to have to spend some time getting back up to the pace of training and when he plays again that'll be another step forward," Power head of football Chris Davies said.
"What I can say is that it won't be this week.
"He's not going to come straight back into the AFL team so there'll be a stepped process of him getting used to the rigours of training and then getting back to a stage where we think he can compete at SANFL level."