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Forgotten Saint may have another week to wait

Alan Richardson has dampened speculation of a debut this week for Nathan Freeman

INJURY-PLAGUED St Kilda midfielder Nathan Freeman probably has to wait another week for his AFL debut.

There has been speculation he will be picked for Friday night’s match against Carlton, but he trained away from the main group on Wednesday and coach Alan Richardson suspects Freeman will not be in the 22.

“My gut feel would be that he’s still a week away,” Richardson said.

Freeman, 23, has been sidelined numerous times because of issues with his right hamstring in particular.

The most recent of those happened in February, when he had the muscle operated on.

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A defect was found and fixed. Since then, the former Magpie has been untroubled by soft-tissue issues.

At the end of 2016 and then again 12 months later, Freeman made trips to Germany for treatment from renowned expert Dr Hans-Wilhelm Muller-Wohlfahrt, who has worked with sprinting legend Usain Bolt and soccer giant Bayern Munich.

The second time, Freeman paid the expenses himself.

He was drafted at No.10 in 2013 by Collingwood and in his time there, managed one pre-season game in each of his first two years.

At the end of 2015, Freeman was traded to the Saints for a selection in the following year’s NAB AFL Draft, while the two clubs also swapped picks in the 60s.

He was given a contract spanning three seasons, which is due to expire at the end of 2018, and has not represented St Kilda at the elite level in that time.

Freeman likely would have made his debut late in 2017 had it not been for a right ankle syndesmosis issue that prematurely ended his campaign.

More to come

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