Alan Richardson's hopes for a brighter than expected start to his St Kilda coaching career have been dealt a blow with the news that best and fairest winner Jack Steven will miss at least a quarter of the season with a foot fracture.

The 23-year-old could be out for up to 10 weeks after sustaining a break to the sesamoid bone in his right foot during training at Seaford on Thursday. He will not require surgery, but will be unable to train for at least a month.

The Saints will meet Melbourne in round one with a midfield lacking Trevor Barker Medallist Steven and class on-baller Leigh Montagna, who will miss through suspension. Defender Sam Gilbert is also at least a month away from returning after surgery earlier this month to repair a foot stress fracture.

Head of football Chris Pelchen said Steven had been training strongly throughout the pre-season before pulling up sore on Thursday.

"Scans conducted late this afternoon revealed a fracture in his right foot which is obviously disappointing for both Jack and the club on the eve of the 2014 season," Pelchen said. "It's important to note that the fracture is not stress related and followed an innocuous incident during training."

With young ruckman Lewis Pierce also battling a back stress fracture, the Saints may be forced to elevate a rookie, such as livewire Tasmanian Eli Templeton, as they hobble into a season of rebuilding under their new coach.

There was better news for Port Adelaide, which expects to have key position trio Jackson Trengove, Alipate Carlile and Jay Schulz at its disposal for the round one clash with Carlton after scans cleared Schulz of major damage to the foot he sprained in Tuesday's NAB Challenge game against Essendon.

The former Tiger, who led the Power in goals (49) and marks (146) in 2013, played while managing a similar injury for two months last season yet still featured in all 24 of his club's games.

Defender Tom Jonas said on Thursday that Trengove (knee) and Carlile (quad) could play in the final pre-season hit-out, against St Kilda at Alberton on March 8.

Across town, Adelaide insists the hip soreness that forced James Podsiadly to be subbed out of Monday night's game against Carlton – and sent the former Cat from the training track early on Thursday – is only bruising and will not hamper the 32-year-old's run into his first season as a Crow.

"Classic hip pointer, so the one where you get a whack on the hip [and] it bruises up, seizes up pretty quickly," coach Brenton Sanderson said. "That lacked a little bit of mobility for him but he'll be fine, he'll play against GWS [Friday] week and then fingers crossed we get our best squad available for round one against Geelong."

With agencies


GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY v ST KILDA

Saturday March 1, 4.40pm AEDT, Wagga Wagga

GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY
1. Phil Davis, 2. Curtly Hampton, 3. Stephen Coniglio, 4. Toby Greene, 5. Dylan Shiel, 6. Lachie Whitfield, 7. Rhys Palmer, 8. Callan Ward, 9. 10. Devon Smith, 11. Jed Lamb, 12. Jon Patton, 14. Tom Bugg, 17. Adam Treloar, 18. Jeremy Cameron, 19. Nick Haynes, 20. Adam Tomlinson, 22. Joshua Kelly, 23. Heath Shaw, 26. Jon Giles, 29. Zac Williams, 30. Lachie Plowman, 31. Jacob Townsend, 32. Josh Hunt, 33. Will Hoskin-Elliott, 40. Adam Kennedy, 41. Shane Mumford, 44. Tom Downie, 46. Dylan Addison, 48. Sam Frost

ST KILDA
1. Tom Hickey, 4. Clint Jones, 5. Shane Savage, 6. Sebastian Ross, 7. Lenny Hayes, 9. Tom Lee, 11. Leigh Montagna, 12. Nick Riewoldt, 13. Adam Schneider, 14. Jarryn Geary, 15. Jack Billings, 16. Jack Newnes, 18. Billy Longer, 20. David Armitage, 21. Luke Delaney, 22. Farren Ray, 24. Sean Dempster, 26. Tom Curren, 29. Jimmy Webster, 31. Tom Simpkin, 33. James Gwilt, 34. Nathan Wright, 35. Josh Saunders, 36. Luke Dunstan, 37. Beau Maister, 39. Cameron Shenton, 41. Darren Minchington, 43. Eli Templeton, 44. Maverick Weller