Jeremy Cameron’s four-week AFL suspension leaves GWS without their star forward for a challenging start to the season.
The tribunal jury handed down the heavy penalty after Cameron pleaded guilty to his rough conduct charge.
He was referred directly to the tribunal for the bump that left Brisbane defender Rhys Mathieson needing surgery for a fractured cheekbone. Mathieson will be out of action for six weeks.
The Giants open their season on Easter Saturday at the MCG against Melbourne, who impressed through the NAB Challenge.
They will then host resurgent Geelong, play cross-town rivals Sydney and play at home against Port Adelaide before Cameron returns.
Cameron travelled to Melbourne for the hearing. His advocate Tony Burns said anything more than a three-game ban would be manifestly excessive.
The Giants have until late on Wednesday morning to decide whether they will appeal against the penalty, but that appears unlikely.
“Obviously, I accept the sanction they handed down to me – I just hope Rhys Mathieson is okay and I just want to move on with my season now,” Cameron said after the hearing.
Asked about whether he might receive a lesser penalty, Cameron said: “we weren’t sure – we just wanted to go in there, sit down, plead my case and go from there.
“I just want to move on with my season now.”
Cameron did not reply when asked if he thought he had received a fair hearing.
The tribunal did not say whether the four-week ban included a one-game discount for Cameron’s guilty plea.
The match review panel had graded the rough conduct charge as careless with severe impact to the head.
The Giants’ star said he asked Mathieson twice immediately after the bump if he was okay.
Cameron also sent Mathieson a text message straight after the match.
“He responded ‘it’s another day at the office, don’t worry’,” Cameron said.
“There was definitely no malice involved at all.”