St Kilda defender Jake Carlisle won’t play any further part in the Saints’ AFL finals campaign after leaving Queensland ahead of the birth of his child.
The Saints on Monday confirmed the 29-year-old had departed their Noosa hub to be with his partner Mel, with the couple imminently expecting their third child.
Carlisle said he was shattered to not be hanging around as St Kilda looks to build on their first finals win since 2010.
“I’m devastated to leave the guys, but it’s going to be a great opportunity for other guys to step up; and to be successful you need more than 22 players,” he said.
“You do everything for family and part of the emotions (after the win) was knowing it was my last game for this year.
“I’m excited to get back home and meet the little man coming along but more importantly to see Mel, (and children) Nash and Layker.
St Kilda chief operating officer Simon Lethlean said he was grateful to Carlisle for staying as long as he did and the club supported his decision.
“He has been away from his young family for a number of months now and we thank him for making that sacrifice,” Lethlean said.
While expected, Carlisle’s absence is a further blow to St Kilda as they prepare for their semi-final clash with reigning premiers Richmond at Metricon Stadium on Friday night.
Veteran ruckman Paddy Ryder has been ruled out for the rest of the season after tearing his hamstring in the dying stages of Saturday’s thrilling three-point elimination final win against the Western Bulldogs.
Ryder starred in the first finals victory of his 257-game career.
The 32-year-old faces a lengthy rehab stint as he requires surgery on the hamstring tendon injury.
“A little bit flat with the injury but it’s been an awesome year,” Ryder said.
“Just looking forward to seeing the boys go out and hopefully get another win this week and march on from there.”
Defender Ben Long is also set to miss the game against the Tigers after being slapped with a one-match ban for a high bump on Bulldog Jack Macrae.
Long attempted to have his suspension downgraded at the AFL tribunal on Monday night, with the Saints arguing his hit on Macrae was low impact, rather than the match review officer’s medium impact assessment.
The tribunal jury upheld the original assessment, meaning Long is suspended for Friday night but the Saints are likely to appeal and have until midday Tuesday to do so.