St Kilda coach Alan Richardson expects star midfielder Jack Steven to return to the AFL within the next month.
Steven returned to training this week after battling mental health issues throughout the year.
Richardson is hopeful of a smooth return to the senior line-up.
"I reckon it's going to be at least three or four weeks – a mini pre-season if you like – and then a bit of VFL footy, and then we hope to get him back in the team," Richardson said.
"Our focus is on making sure that's he's right to go, that he's happy, that he's enjoying his footy, that he's enjoying his life. He looks really good but it's a delicate thing."
Welcome back, Jack ❤️ pic.twitter.com/rGU06VDlyC
— St Kilda FC (@stkildafc) June 13, 2019
Promising young forward Max King is also close to an AFL debut, impressing with 10 goals from four games in the VFL.
"There's a difference between VFL footy and AFL footy, and given his recent history, in terms of coming off a knee reco, we're not going to rush things, but if he's ready, he's ready," Richardson said.
"We don't think he's quite ready yet, but he's getting closer."
The Saints face Gold Coast in Townsville on Saturday.