Two-time Brownlow Medallist Gary Ablett is set to miss out on Geelong’s Round 8 fixture versus North Melbourne are he was offered a one-game ban by the AFL’s Match Review Officer Michael Christian.
Ablett was charged with striking Essendon’s Dylan Shiel in the first quarter of the match between the Cats and Bombers on Sunday.
The MRO classified the incident as intention high contact, but with a low impact, resulting in a one-match suspension.
Ablett has the option of taking the case to the AFL Tribunal, where the MRO’s decision could potentially be overturned, allowing him to play.
Several players have been successful in seeking to have suspensions either reduced or overturned entirely at the Tribunal this year.
While the high contact was undeniable Ablett could, if he takes the case to the tribunal, seek to argue either that the force was insufficient to justify a suspension, or that it was not intentional.
Both options would appear to probably be a long shot, but stranger things have happened at the tribunal.
Ablett is averaging 22 disposals and 1.7 goals per game so far this year in a new forward-line role, and appears a strong chance to be named an All Australian for the ninth time.
This suspension, if accepted, would make him ineligible to win a third Brownlow Medal in 2019.