ST KILDA could be forced to make three changes for Friday night’s game against Essendon at Marvel Stadium, following an injury-ravaged second half at the Gabba on Saturday night. 

Wingman Daniel McKenzie and draftee Mitch Owens have entered the AFL’s concussion protocols and won’t be available this weekend.

Owens was on the receiving end of a head clash with Brisbane small forward Lincoln McCarthy late in the second quarter, before McKenzie landed on his head in a marking contest shortly after half-time. 

00:58 Mins
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Brave young Saint dazed after brutal head clash

Mitch Owens leaves the field with concern following this heavy collision with Lincoln McCarthy

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Zak Jones has been cleared of a hamstring strain after undergoing scans on Monday and hasn’t been ruled out of the game at this stage.

St Kilda may not risk 27-year-old given his long history of hamstring and soft tissue injuries, especially coming off a six-day break. 

The former Swan will undergo a range of fitness tests at RSEA Park this week before he is cleared to face the Bombers. 

St Kilda is currently in sixth spot at 8-4 after 13 rounds – the same as Geelong and Sydney – after their three-game winning streak was ended when the Lions overran them late to win by 21 points. 

Brett Ratten’s side has enjoyed a decent run on the injury front so far this season and have a handful of options in form at Sandringham. 

Jack Billings was sent to the Gold Coast instead of Brisbane on the weekend and staked his claim for another opportunity at senior level by collecting 32 disposals, nine marks and a goal against second-placed Southport on Saturday in his second game back in the reserves.

Jack Billings in action during Sandringham's clash against North Melbourne in the VFL on May 29, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

The 26-year-old has only managed two senior appearances this season – rounds 9 and 10 – after a delayed start to the season due to lingering hamstring concerns. 

Hunter Clark was also overlooked for the game at the Gabba but should come under serious consideration for Friday night after finishing with 24 disposals and five tackles in the VFL.

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The former first-round pick is yet to play a senior game in 2022 after undergoing shoulder surgery following an incident in the AAMI Community Series, before entering health and safety protocols before the mid-season bye just when he was set to return.

Ryan Byrnes has been the next man in for much of the year – he has been the unused medi-sub on four occasions, including in rounds 10 and 11 – but he put his hand up for another opportunity by gathering 26 touches at Fankhauser Reserve.

Nasiah Wanganeen-Milera didn’t play at any level on the weekend after being managed, while Cooper Sharman responded in emphatic fashion to being dropped, kicking four goals for the Zebras.

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VFL Showreel, R12: Cooper Sharman highlights

Enjoy Cooper Sharman's standout VFL performance for the Zebras

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