ST KILDA defender Dylan Roberton needed stitches in his testicles on Monday after a freak indoor cricket incident which saw him hit by a tennis ball.
Roberton was batting in a game inside the Saints' gym when a seemingly harmless Shane Savage delivery struck the former Docker in the area no man wants to be hit.
He was immediately in pain and after having between four and six stitches, will be on restricted duties for a short period, expected to be not much longer than a week.
Roberton is feeling fine, considering the situation, but will stay in hospital until Wednesday.
"To cop such a blow in a harmless game of cricket is very unlucky, but thankfully, he's okay and will be back on his feet in the next few days," football manager Jamie Cox told saints.com.au.
"Dylan has returned to pre-season training in fantastic shape, so a short break won't hold him back for too long."
Roberton, 26, had a career-best season in 2017 and made the Virgin Australia All Australian squad of 40.
He has three children with his wife Amy.