ST KILDA will be without David Armitage for an "extended" period and the key midfielder could even be facing surgery, according to coach Alan Richardson.
Armitage, 28, has been battling a groin issue and has been left out of the Saints' side that will face Geelong on Sunday.
Richardson said Armitage was "a very sore boy" with scans next week set to reveal his fate.
"He's still pulling up really sore after the games, so he'll have to have some tests," the coach said.
"It looks like he'll miss a bit of footy, unfortunately.
"We don't really know the extent of it until he has those scans, which my understanding will be about the middle of the week and then we'll have more information then.
"It looks like he's going to have to have, possibly, some corrective surgery, but if not an extended rest to make sure we get it right. We'll know a bit more later in the week."
Armitage has previously struggled with a back issue and said during the pre-season that his body was feeling better than ever after two years of pain and mystery.
Richardson rejected the suggestion that Armitage perhaps should not have played against Collingwood last weekend.
"He still did some reasonably good stuff for us - he was spent late," Richardson said.
"It was one of those injuries where it wasn't going to get any worse, but hopefully you can pull up better. That wasn't the case. He's a sore boy, so he'll need to have a spell."
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.