Gold Coast key defender Steven May will be slugged with a hefty AFL suspension for his heavy hit on Brisbane ruckman Stefan Martin.
Martin was heavily concussed in the incident which took place just before halftime of Saturday’s Queensland derby at the Gabba which the Lions won by 13 points.
The seriousness of the incident means May is almost certain to be sent straight to the tribunal by the match review panel (MRP), rather than being given the option of taking an early guilty plea for the rough conduct charge.
May, 24, has a poor disciplinary record, including a contentious three-match ban last year for bumping Lions skipper Tom Rockliff.
GWS spearhead Jeremy Cameron was suspended for the first four matches of the 2016 season for a similar bump on Rhys Mathieson during the NAB Challenge which left the Brisbane youngster with a fractured cheekbone.
But this incident looked to be even more serious, meaning May could be suspended for five or six games.
Less than a month after Lions player Justin Clarke was forced to retire due to the after-effects of serious concussions, Brisbane coach Justin Leppitsch called on the MRP to take action against May.
“I’m not here to hang anybody, it’s up to the match review panel to do their bit on that one,” Leppitsch said.
“We’ve already lost a player to a career with concussion, so it’s a very important one in footy I think, and it’s one we’ve got to be very careful that we don’t contribute to it.”
May ran past the ball and left the ground before crashing into Martin’s head with his shoulder, forcing the Brisbane ruckman to be stretchered from the field.
Suns coach Rodney Eade described May’s act as “undisciplined”.
“It wasn’t a great look,” he said.
“I’ll have to go through the video with (May).”
May’s former teammate Charlie Dixon was reported on Sunday for striking GWS co-captain Phil Davis.
It added to a miserable day for Dixon and his new club Port Adelaide who were slaughtered by the Giants by 86 points in Canberra.