Adelaide star Rory Sloane is now ineligible for this year’s Brownlow medal, having accepted a one-match AFL ban.
Sloane was charged after drawing blood when he whacked Port Adelaide’s Brad Ebert’s head with a clumsy attempt to spoil in round 22.
The match review panel deemed it to be careless conduct with medium impact.
Sloane could have taken his case to the tribunal but would have risked a two-game suspension.
Unsurprisingly the Crows wanted to ensure the talented midfielder will be available for week one of the finals.
It means Sloane will miss Friday night’s Adelaide Oval blockbuster between West Coast and the Crows, which will shape the top four.
It also throws up the prospect of Sloane following in the footsteps of Corey McKernan and Chris Grant, who would have won the Brownlow in 1996 and 1997 respectively if not for bans.
The expectation is Sloane’s close friend Patrick Dangerfield will top the count, having consistently dominated in his first year at Geelong.
But Sloane is widely tipped to poll well and had been on the third line of betting for the honour, behind former teammate Dangerfield and Richmond’s Dustin Martin.
Meanwhile, Sydney defender Heath Grundy accepted a $1000 fine after being booked for engaging in rough conduct against North Melbourne forward Lindsay Thomas.