Dockers reveal shocking Brayshaw injuries
WEST Coast star Andrew Gaff has apologised for his ugly and brutal punch to the face of Docker Andrew Brayshaw.
Gaff connected with Brayshaw's face in the third term of the local derby in Perth in an incident reminiscent of footy's wild days in the 1970s.
Brayshaw was taken to hospital after suffering a broken jaw and four displaced teeth.
On Monday morning the Dockers provided an update on Brayshaw's condition;
"Andrew Brayshaw had surgery overnight to repair his broken jaw and three displaced lower teeth, which have been put back into place and splinted," a club statement said.
"Club medical staff have advised that the surgery went well and Brayshaw is now recovering at home with his parents. He can not eat solid food for four weeks and will not play again this season."
As the footy world debated how many weeks Gaff will miss and the impact on West Coast's premiership chances, a Perth QC said the punch was worthy of a criminal investigation.
"He doesn't deserve to play AFL again. Ever. (There is) a prima facie case for a police investigation. I've had people go to jail for less," prominent lawyer and Dockers foundation member Tom Percy wrote on Facebook.
The West Australian reported Percy said: "Why would a football score be more important than the health and wellbeing of an innocent young man who is in hospital as a result of a cowardly assault he didn't provoke?"
A clearly shaken Gaff, who has never been reported in a 175-game career, spoke on Fox Footy after the match: "I just want to apologise to Andy. I feel sick. I feel sick about it," Gaff said.
"I did the wrong thing and I'd like to think it doesn't indicate my character, although my main thought is how he is.
"I'm very remorseful and I feel sick about it."
Collingwood premiership captain Tony Shaw said Gaff's punch was a stain on the game and had changed his mind about a red card being introduced to the AFL.
"This will be shown forever and he's going to have to wear it," he said.
"I have been against it (a red card), but I think now we've had a few incident this year, like (Tom) Bugg and this one, where we might have to," he said on 3AW. "It was intentional, it was severe ... it was a very ordinary act."
Melbourne skipper Nathan Jones has also backed a red card for severe acts of on-field violence.
"It's not like you see that every day like the 1980s, but in particular for an incident like that I think it's warranted," Jones told SEN.
"You just see the ramifications post that and obviously Ross Lyon sort of mentioned it, it got his senior players fired up and I think it can just boil over into something bigger than what the game wants, particularly in this day and age.
"You don't want all-in brawls and fights off the back of an issue like that so I'm for it."
Emotional Dockers coach Ross Lyon said Brayshaw's mother was in tears in the Fremantle rooms and he expected Gaff to be banned for the rest of the season.
"Andrew Brayshaw was king hit 100m off the ball. He's got a fractured jaw and four displaced teeth that are caved in and he'll be undergoing surgery tonight," Lyon said.
"I've got an 18-year-old kid that I saw in a real mess when I came down to the rooms and his mum in tears as I was walking in. So it's not very palatable.
"It was very distressing. He was pretty distraught. I gave him a hug. It was hard to keep the emotion back yourself when you see his mum. I wouldn't like to see my son like that.
"It's a pretty significant moment I would have thought - our No.2 pick won't play again this year I wouldn't have thought."
Gaff is expected to be sent straight to the tribunal, where he will likely receive a hefty suspension.
It puts the Eagles star's participation in the finals series in doubt with just three home-and-away rounds to go before September action.
Fremantle champion Matthew Pavlich believes Gaff should cop "at least six" matches for one of the ugliest incidents we have seen on a football field for some time.
When asked to explain exactly what happened, a visibly shattered Gaff told Fox Footy: "It's hard to say.
"It is what it is. What will happen will happen (with the tribunal)."
Pavlich and St Kilda champion Nick Riewoldt have slammed Gaff.
The Eagle was one of the favourites for the Brownlow Medal before the ugly incident.
The Docker was left bleeding heavily from the mouth and lay on the ground for several minutes in the aftermath of the incident.
"It would be at least six (weeks), you'd think," Pavlich said.
"I think everyone is a bit, almost disturbed by it."
If Gaff cops a suspension in the range of four to five matches, it will jeopardise his ability to feature for the Eagles in this year's finals series.
If he cops a six-match ban, he'll need West Coast to lose its first final in order to play again this season should his team reach the Grand Final.
Melbourne's Tom Bugg copped a six-match ban last year for punching Swan Callum Mills, who played the next week.
"It will all depend on the medical report," Riewoldt said on Fox Footy.
"It would be in the four to five (week) range you would imagine.
"We're not in the business of bagging players but that was really ordinary."
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