Footy Fix: crunch time at Etihad
St Kilda faces Geelong, and North Melbourne aims to topple Collingwood as Rohan Connolly previews round 21 of the AFL season.PT4M49S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-247no 620 349 August 15, 2012
St Kilda captain Nick Riewoldt has been ruled out of tomorrow night's crunch game against Geelong.
Saints coach Scott Watters today revealed Riewoldt's injured knee had made significant improvement in the past few days, but not enough to get up for the must-win clash at Etihad Stadium.
"Nick won't be available this week. There was a lot of improvement during the week but he was still not quite right," Watters said before training.
‘‘Obviously we’d love Nick to be playing but that's the nature of the game.
"It's minor, but it is still having an impact on his function right at the moment, despite the improvement."
St Kilda, currently in 10th spot on the ladder, would move into the eight with a win tomorrow night but would need other results to go its way to stay there.
Watters said he felt there was no point "playing games" by naming the star forward and keeping Geelong guessing, believing such a strategy was overrated.
"I'm not into playing games, I've got a lot of faith in the players we'll select," he said.
"Sometimes those (mind) games are overrated, it can actually distract your team from where they are actually at. Another 48 hours won't make any difference."
Riewoldt injured his right knee against Melbourne last Saturday, and it was initially feared it could be season-ending. Two lots of scans since have revealed the 29-year-old suffered a small tear in the tendon behind the knee.
Watters denied the second scan - performed after Riewoldt did some light running at training on Tuesday - showed more damage than the club was initially letting on.
The injury is to the same troublesome knee Riewoldt recently revealed had undergone Orthokine therapy - devised by German doctor Peter Wehling - which basketball star Kobe Bryant and baseballer Alex Rodriguez have used successfully.
Watters said Riewoldt gave himself every opportunity to play.
"Nick is pretty brave at the best of times. He wanted to push the envelope as much as possible. There was significant improvement from Monday to today," the coach said.
"But it is one thing to put up with pain, but if there is still a functional limitation, which there is at the moment, you can't go past that. He gave it his best shot."
Watters said the club was unsure whether the injury would keep Riewoldt out of the round 22 game against Greater Western Sydney.