Ouch: The collision between Franklin and Malceski. Photo: Michael WillsonA positive medical report on Nick Malceski has almost certainly saved Lance Franklin from being suspended for much of the finals series. If that is coupled with a consistent approach from the match review panel to punishing late high bumps the Hawthorn spearhead could face Sydney on Friday night.
Swans defender Malceski had facial scans at the weekend as a result of the bump to his head from Franklin on Friday night, which triggered the Hawks spearhead being reported for rough conduct. Malceski left the ground straight away for treatment but promptly returned, and while he was substituted in the second half it was due to a sore foot.
Sydney coach John Longmire confirmed the scans did not reveal any fractures.
”He’s fine to play. There’s no break or anything,” he said.
The absence of any significant damage to Malceski is likely to limit Franklin’s impact grading to low. With there being no doubt the contact was high the biggest issue for the panel is likely to be whether it deems Franklin’s conduct reckless or negligent. The former would trigger a two-match ban that could be cut to one with a guilty plea, but the latter would be one down to a reprimand.
Players who have jumped to deliver high bumps have consistently attracted reckless gradings, due to panel warnings that jumping into opponents was inherently dangerous.
The panel appraisals are announced on Monday afternoons. Franklin is not burdened by any carry-over points or loading.
He is unlikely to face any punishment for an incident in which he pushed his arms back in a marking contest and left Sydney’s Heath Grundy with a bloodied nose, as it looked accidental and was not inherently dangerous.
The other finals-bound player likely to be sweating on the panel decision is Port Adelaide’s Dom Cassisi, for a sling tackle on Carlton’s Marc Murphy on Saturday.
The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.