Alan Richardson: Nathan Freeman Unlikely To Debut This Week

"He's getting close."

Alan Richardson: Nathan Freeman Unlikely To Debut This Week Image: Getty

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 probably still a week away and that's a positive when you consider he hasn't been able to string games together," Richardson said before training.

"He's certainly been able to do that (in the last few weeks) and he's getting close, which is exciting.

"We'd love to have him out there, but we're not going to pick him until he's ready."

Collingwood recruited Freeman with the No.10 pick in the 2013 draft and he was traded to St Kilda two years later.

A succession of hamstring injuries have cruelled his time in the AFL system so far.

He has played four VFL games after recovering from a shoulder injury.

"He was certainly in the mix earlier in the week, in our early match committees," Richardson said.

"It's not a physical issue now, it's a footy issue and whether we think he can help our team.

"Has he played in the manner that we think he can support what we're doing out there?"