Thomas may fight one-match AFL ban - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Thomas may fight one-match AFL ban

By Greg Buckle 06/06/2011 09:36:37 PM Comments (0)

Collingwood's Arizona experiment could come back to haunt them after Dale Thomas was handed a one-match ban on Monday.

The blond dynamo and Brownlow Medal fancy has been charged by the AFL's Match Review Panel with a level-three striking offence.

The incident occurred against St Kilda tagger Clint Jones during the second quarter of Saturday night's round-11 match at the MCG.

Jones had to leave the field for treatment to a cut lip following his the clash with Thomas.

The offence draws 225 demerit points and a two-match ban, reduced to 168.75 points for his previous good record and downgraded further to 126.56 points with an early plea.

Thomas faces a one-match ban whether he challenges the report and loses or lodges an early guilty plea.

Unless he decides to challenge the report at the tribunal on Tuesday night and is successful, Thomas will miss the big Queen's Birthday clash against ninth-placed Melbourne on Monday.

While Thomas is still a chance to play against the Demons if he can beat the striking charge, Collingwood's three-time club champion Dane Swan has already been ruled out.

The second-placed Magpies on Monday sent the premiership quartet of Swan, Darren Jolly, Nathan Brown and Brent Macaffer to Arizona in the USA for a high-altitude training camp.

Veteran ruckman Jolly is battling a knee problem while Macaffer has a foot complaint and Nathan Brown is out for the year with a knee injury.

Swan has been coy about his fitness issues and the midfielder went forward against St Kilda on Saturday night, kicking four goals.

"I'd love to play (against the Demons)," Swan said at Melbourne airport on Monday.

"They (the club) think it's in my best interests. So I'm happy to come across (to Arizona) and see what happens.

"Hopefully it goes well."

Collingwood sports science director David Buttifant defended the Arizona mid-season camp, saying: "This is not done on a whimsical notion."

Demons coach Dean Bailey said he wasn't offended by Collingwood's move to rest Swan.

"They've always been a club that has been well-planned and been prepared to invest in their players and they've got the resources to do it," Bailey said on Monday.

"I think they're, again, setting a benchmark and if you've got the resources available to assist your players then why wouldn't you?"

The Magpies also have another potential injury drama on their hands with Dayne Beams battling a foot injury which could keep him out of the clash with Melbourne.

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