ST KILDA tall Josh Battle is set to miss the remainder of the season after scans discovered bone stress in his ankle.
Saints medicos will meet with a surgeon next week to determine the next steps for the 22-year-old, however the club is confident he'll be fit to tackle pre-season ahead of next year.
Battle played the first 14 matches of the season before he was relegated to sub duties in the past two wins that pushed the Saints to within touching distance of the top-eight.
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He was in the frame to tackle Port Adelaide on Saturday, however soreness at training on his left ankle this week prompted further investigation.
The latest injury is the opposite foot to the soreness that saw him miss last year's elimination final win over the Western Bulldogs last year.
"It's a disappointing blow for Josh and the club," Saints chief operating officer Simon Lethlean said.
"With the depth of our injuries this year, Josh has continued to cover a range of roles for us and we'll miss his versatility and hardness as we head into the pointy end of the season."
"He's a loved member of our group and we'll do everything we can to support him and to get him back on the track as soon as possible."
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Battle holds a contract with the Saints until the end of 2022.
The Saints have lost Jake Carlisle (back), Jade Gresham (Achilles) and Ben Paton (broken leg) to season-ending injuries, while Jarryn Geary (shoulder) is likely to miss the rest of the campaign.
Mason Wood (back) is out for an indefinite period, while Jack Higgins (back), Shaun McKernan (toe), Nick Coffield (hamstring) and Hunter Clark (jaw) will miss at least this weekend.