Paddy McCartin of the Saints.
Paddy McCartin of the Saints. TRACEY NEARMY

Saints hopeful injured youngster will bounce back quickly

ST KILDA is unsure how long Paddy McCartin will be sidelined after a knee injury ruled him out of the game against North Melbourne.

While the Saints are set to regain veteran Nick Riewoldt for the must-win Friday night clash at Etihad Stadium, McCartin pulled up sore after last week's loss to Adelaide.

"It's disappointing for Paddy - at one stage yesterday it looked like a chance to be something quite sinister," St Kilda coach Alan Richardson said.

"But scans have come back relatively positive, so we're optimistic now that it might only be the week.

"He's had an issue with the bone in his leg, just below the knee - the early diagnosis was that he had a bit of a stress reaction there.

"There's obviously still some bruising there and we think that will settle down pretty quickly."

Riewoldt will return from two games out with a knee injury, but star recruit Jack Steele has been dumped, with Luke Dunstan taking his place in the midfield.

North Melbourne goalsneak Lindsay Thomas is available for selection for the first time in six weeks, but he won't be part of the Kangaroos line-up against St Kilda.

The forgotten forward, who hasn't been seen at AFL level since round five, copped a three-match suspension for a hit on Casey Scorpion Corey Marnard in the VFL in early May and missed extra weeks due to the VFL and AFL byes.

He has completed a "mini pre-season" during his ban but did not train with the main group on Thursday.