St Kilda defender Ben Long could miss Friday night’s semi-final against Richmond after being slapped with a one-match ban for rough conduct.
Long crunched Western Bulldogs midfielder Jack Macrae with a high bump during St Kilda’s thrilling three-point elimination final win on Saturday.
Although Macrae was able to get up almost immediately and play out the match, the AFL assessed the hit as careless conduct, medium impact and high contact, drawing a one-match ban.
The Saints are yet to officially state their position, but it would be a big surprise if they don’t challenge the ban at the AFL Tribunal.
Long’s decision to bump instead of tackle could count heavily against him if he decides to challenge the charge.
The 23-year-old booted 14.9 last season but he has been used predominantly in defence this year, with his toughness proving crucial.
Long has played 45 games since being drafted with pick No. 25 in the 2016 national draft.
St Kilda were also dealt the devastating news on Sunday that star ruckman Paddy Ryder would miss the rest of the season with a serious hamstring injury.