Suspended St Kilda recruit Jake Carlisle's career as a Saint could be extended as a result of a 12-month ban, says senior coach Alan Richardson.
With the star acquisition to miss the 2016 AFL season through the supplements saga suspension to 34 past and present Essendon players, St Kilda are expected to trigger the last-year option on his lucrative deal.
Carlisle, 24, who was traded to St Kilda last October, signed a four-year deal with the club that also included an option for a fifth season.
Speaking to afl.com.au, Richardson said Carlisle's career as a Saint should be longer now as a result of the ban.
"Given the journey we are on, we've now got this bloke for one year longer on the back-end," Richardson said.
Richardson spoke of the positive impact the suspension had on the club's long-term plans, in particular St Kilda's defence of the future.
"If we were top four last year and this bloke was going to make the difference, then I reckon that's a bit tougher," he said.
"But we need him to be really strong and influential when we are really strong and influential.
"Of course he's part of the journey, but he's going to be part of the Goddard-Carlisle-Roberton-Webster defence ... long-term it doesn't change much."
As part of his suspension, Carlisle is unable to have any football-related interactions with the club, which includes entering clubrooms on match-day, entering the club premises or training under programs given by St Kilda.
"He's a grown man now who's been involved in six or seven pre-seasons, so he knows what he's got to do to get himself in reasonable nick for when he joins the group again," Richardson said.
Fellow teammates have been reaching out to Carlisle individually, with the club unable to do a proper induction.
"I reckon to a man our whole playing group would have touched base," he said.
"Just to say 'Chin up, tough time, but you're a Saints player now and we're behind you.' All that kind of stuff ... He found it pretty powerful."
Carlisle's suspension will end in November, but he is allowed to re-join training two months prior.