St Kilda's Lenny Hayes. Photo: Pat Scala
St Kilda will miss Lenny Hayes and Maverick Weller for its round-one clash with Melbourne unless they can successfully challenge striking charges at the AFL Tribunal.
Hayes and Weller were charged with level-three striking charges on Stephen Coniglio and Tomas Bugg respectively during Sunday's match against Greater Western Sydney.
The Saints were soundly beaten by the Giants in Wagga Wagga and will not relish the prospect of entering round one without three-time best and fairest winner Hayes and off-season recruit Weller.
Pre-season favourites to finish in the bottom three in 2014, the Saints will have identified the March 22 match against the Demons as crucial to kick-start their season.
Hayes' hit was classified as negligent, high impact and high contact by the match review panel, meaning he can accept a week's suspension with an early guilty plea.
Weller has a similar punishment after his strike was seen as intentional, low impact high contact.
The Saints will make a decision on Tuesday whether to challenge the bans, though contesting the charges will risk extending the pair's suspensions through to a round-two rematch with the Giants.
Sydney's Ryan O'Keefe and Geelong's Billie Smedts will be free to play in round one with early guilty pleas after their pre-season striking charges were seen in a lesser light.
Scott Selwood - the target of O'Keefe's striking effort - was also fined $900 for pushing Craig Bird into the path of an umpire in West Coast's win over Sydney.