Hamill back training with St Kilda - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hamill back training with St Kilda

By Roger Vaughan 30/05/2007 08:14:34 PM Comments (0)

Aaron Hamill's first full AFL training session since his February knee surgery has headlined some encouraging news for injury-plagued St Kilda.

Hamill is not yet ready to play, but provided he pulls up well from Wednesday's session it will be a major morale boost for the Saints as they start reducing their long injury list.

Rated by the Saints as arguably the league's best defensive forward, Hamill was forced out indefinitely after the February knee surgery and his ongoing absence has been a major blow.

The former captain managed only nine senior games last year and has not played since September.

Key defender Max Hudghton, brothers Xavier and Raphael Clarke, Andrew Thompson, Leigh Montagna and Jason Gram will all push for selection ahead of Sunday's match against second-placed Geelong.

The Saints will not risk bringing back all of them at once, but it is a pleasing sign that their luck is changing.

"There's a balance - obviously Xavier has only missed two weeks, Gram has only missed two," Lyon said.

"You wouldn't want to bring too many back, but you love to get that sort of quality, particularly in the run, back into your time.

"And a full-back (Hudghton) would be nice."

Montagna could play only a fortnight after suffering a broken jaw - at the time, it was feared he would miss at least a month.

"The oral surgeon investigated and did what he did to it, it wasn't as bad as first thought," said coach Ross Lyon.

"Apparently there's no risk at all, he could run into a Mack truck, but it's about how he feels."

Lyon added the players pushing for a recall still faced fitness tests towards the end of the week.

He is particularly keen to recall Hudghton, like Hamill a key-position player the Saints desperately need back in the side.

"I'm ready to play him, he's a 200-game full-back and he's done a lot of training," Lyon said.

"He is champing at the bit to play ... if he's right, I will play him, no doubt."

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