ST KILDA captain Jack Steele is expected to return for this weekend’s trip to Sydney after making a speedy return from shoulder surgery and could be joined by wingman Daniel McKenzie. 

Steele hasn’t played since injuring the AC joint in his right shoulder in the round nine win over Geelong, missing the past four games, including losses against Brisbane and Essendon since the mid-season bye. 

The Saints contemplated recalling the dual All-Australian midfielder ahead of last Friday night after he almost trained at 100 per cent last week before erring on the side of caution.

The two-time Trevor Barker Award winner trained on Monday, pressing his case for a lightning-fast return from surgery and will need to tick off the final stage of his rehabilitation at Wednesday’s main training session at RSEA Park.

00:23 Mins
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Saints' skipper goes down with shoulder injury

Jack Steele came off second best from this brutal Jake Kolodjashnij tackle, reaching for his shoulder immediately

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If Steele faces Sydney at the SCG he will return within 43 days, which will end up being the best-case outcome the club hoped for when he went under the knife last month. 

The return of Steele will provide a major boost for a side that was badly beaten around the ball by Essendon – who had only won two games heading into last Friday night’s game – and by Brisbane at the Gabba six days earlier. 

McKenzie will be available for selection this weekend after missing the 35-point loss to the Bombers due to suffering a concussion against Brisbane at the Gabba in round 13. 

The 26-year-old, who played the first 12 games of the season, has passed concussion protocols and is expected to return against John Longmire's side. 

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More Saints carnage with concussion ruling out another

St Kilda has suffered yet another worrying injury concern with Dan McKenzie forced out of the game with concussion

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First-year midfielder Mitch Owens also suffered a concussion against the Lions in his third AFL game and missed Spud’s Game. 

It is understood that the teenager is yet to exit concussion protocols and is set to be ruled out for this weekend. 

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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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Last week's sub Marcus Windhager should come under consideration for an immediate recall to the 22 after producing a strong performance in the VFL, collecting 32 disposals, 12 clearances six inside 50s and two goals for Sandringham at Trevor Barker Oval. 

Cooper Sharman kicked three goals in attack after kicking four goals the week earlier, while SSP signing Jarrod Lienert gathered 27 disposals and six marks in defence after being omitted. 

Irishman Darragh Joyce was enormous down back, finishing with 24 disposals, 11 rebound 50s and 10 marks to continue his eye-catching season in the VFL as he looked to add to the 11 games he has played across six seasons at St Kilda. 

St Kilda remains in the top eight on percentage despite back-to-back losses for the second time this season, but are vulnerable with Collingwood level on premierships points and the Western Bulldogs and Gold Coast a game below them. 

The Saints have a tough fixture ahead with Carlton, Fremantle and the Western Bulldogs – all at Marvel Stadium – to come after the trip to Sydney this weekend.