St Kilda coach Brett Ratten is feeling for Paddy Ryder and Bradley Hill after the Saints stars were the subject of reports "so far from the truth".
The Saints on Monday night released a statement about Ryder and Hill being part of an argument with patrons at a bar during the club's bye round.
St Kilda felt it was necessary to clarify an incorrect report on SEN WA that suggested Ryder and Hill were disciplined by the club for the incident.
Ryder (managed) and Hill (personal reasons) both did not play against Sydney on Saturday night but their absences were not related to the June 18 incident at a venue in Mordialloc.
Ratten was bemused by how the story had gained traction, saying the club was aware of the incident well before it was aired.
Ryder and Hill were both at the Saints' Moorabbin headquarters on Tuesday and are expected to line-up in the crucial clash with in-form Carlton at Marvel Stadium on Friday night.
"The boys went to a hotel, had a few beers, a few words were said and they left," Ratten said on Tuesday.
"It does make me think there's not much out there to take a story of somebody said something, people left and next minute we've got these players and putting them in hot water.
"It's so far from the truth, so I feel for Paddy and I feel for 'Hilly' to have to put up with it when we really haven't got the full knowledge.
"We're jumping at shadows and hearsay without actually getting the evidence.
"It is actually pretty disappointing that this has been inflamed.
"If they're getting home at five in the morning then it'd be an issue but they weren't out until that late.
"Players work so hard and the opportunity to enjoy themselves at times is critical. We need the balance of life.
"An eight-day turnaround, when can you get a better situation to go out?"
Ryder also slammed the report, taking to Twitter on Monday night.
"Anyone have anything different to say please come forward, show your face and name yourself," Ryder wrote.
Ryder is 34 and has a history of injury issues so the Saints flagged earlier this year the veteran ruck would be rested on occasion.
Ratten said Hill had been dealing with a personal matter and would not elaborate on it further out of respect for the 28-year-old.
Australian Associated Press
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