“His parents [who were in attendance] were pretty emotional and concerned, as was he.”
Lethlean said King was unlikely to play next week, but that serious damage had been avoided.
King, 18, had started brightly in what was his fifth VFL game since returning from a knee injury he suffered early last year in his under-18 season.
The No.4 draft pick kicked an early goal for Sandringham against Werribee at Trevor Barker Beach Oval but landed awkwardly after presenting for a ball moments later.
He won a free kick in the contest but couldn’t take the shot. He was taken to the boundary line, walking around, before later being taken for scans.
The Saints – ravaged by injury this year – were sweating on the results. The 202-centimetre King had been on the verge of an AFL debut, planned for as early as next Saturday against the Brisbane Lions at Marvel Stadium. That will now likely be pushed back a bit.
However while King’s first game for St Kilda has been delayed, Dan Hannebery appears poised to make his long-awaited AFL return against the Lions.
Hannebery got through another VFL game, finishing with 23 disposals as the Zebras lost to the Tigers by 24 points.
Three-time All-Australian Hannebery missed most of the first half of the year because of injury, having been traded from Sydney at the end of last season.
Key defender Jake Carlisle also got through the game, which was his first of the year following pre-season back surgery.
St Kilda’s narrow comeback win over Gold Coast squared the Saints’ ledger at 6-6, easing some of the pressure on sixth-year coach Alan Richardson, who is widely-viewed to be coaching for his career in the back half of the season.
Daniel is an Age sports reporter