COLLINGWOOD captain Nick Maxwell may only get to play again this season if the Pies make the grand final, while Eagle Quinten Lynch is also expected to be suspended for Saturday's semi-final.
Maxwell was reported for a rough behind-play block on Hawthorn's Paul Puopolo on Friday night that is understood to have broken the Hawk's nose.
Puopolo, who was on the Hawks' attacking 50-metre arc seeking to run with the flight of the ball, left the field with a bloodied nose after Maxwell moved sideways to block his path. Based on long-range video footage it seemed Puopolo was struck in the face by Maxwell's left shoulder.
Before Puopolo left the field he shrugged off trainers and pointed angrily towards Maxwell, who by that stage had run off to rejoin play.
St Kilda captain Nick Riewoldt yesterday said forwards were accustomed to defenders seeking to impede their running paths, as Maxwell did to Puopolo, but conceded the resulting high impact from Maxwell could prove to be significant.
''Incidents like that happen so many times during a game - that sort of checking happens, especially to forwards - 20 or 30 times a game. But obviously the intense scrutiny and focus comes into it if you get them high,'' Riewoldt told Channel Seven's AFL Game Day.
Retired Essendon spearhead Matthew Lloyd said on Channel Nine's The Sunday Footy Show that ''backmen do that all the time to forwards but because he [Maxwell] got him high that could cause some trouble''.
Maxwell does not have a bad record nor any carry-over points, but he also does not qualify for a five-year good-behaviour discount.
In terms of conduct, if Maxwell's charge is sustained, his blow is unlikely to be graded more favourably than reckless because it happened about 30 metres from where the ball - which was in mid-air - was due to land. The fact Puopolo received a bloodied nose would seemingly guarantee a high-contact classification, while the impact is expected to be at least medium.
A combination of reckless conduct, medium impact and high contact would result in a base penalty of three matches, which could be reduced to two with a guilty plea. Under that scenario Maxwell could play again this year only if the Magpies reached the grand final.
Maxwell's teammate and fellow defender Chris Tarrant is unlikely to be charged for striking Hawthorn's Lance Franklin, because of a lack of impact from the blow to Franklin's midriff. But he is likely to be fined for wrestling Franklin.
While Hawthorn has the coming weekend off, it will keep a close eye on this week's panel verdicts to see if vital forward-ruckman Jarryd Roughead is punished for a behind-play bump on Collingwood's Chris Dawes.
In an incident Lloyd described as ''very similar'' to what Geelong's Steve Johnson was suspended for last week, Roughead was following a clearing kick out of defence when he clattered into the side of Dawes, who was looking upfield.
But while Johnson had carry-over points and loading Roughead has neither. He also has a clean record. As a result, even if Roughead is charged with rough conduct and his conduct deemed reckless, he is likely to escape with a reprimand, even before a guilty plea, thanks to his 25 per cent discount for good behaviour.
Roughead's teammate Josh Gibson may be scrutinised for a minor tripping offence, but even if he is charged - which is unlikely - his clean record may see him earn a reprimand and 45 carry-over points.
Imposing West Coast forward Lynch may be sidelined for the Collingwoodgame for either charging or rough conduct against North Melbourne's Scott McMahon yesterday. The incident, in which Lynch was late arriving for a marking contest and planted his knee in McMahon's back, was similar to an incident the Lions' Daniel Merrett was reprimanded for in round 16.
If charged, Lynch's 20 per cent loading and 37.5 carry-over points are likely to be enough to keep him above the one-match suspension threshold, even with a guilty plea.
Kangaroos dynamo Brent Harvey is likely to miss at least the first two rounds of next season after a minor but blatant off-ball strike to the head of Eagles midfielder Daniel Kerr yesterday. Harvey's base penalty, probably two matches but possibly three, effectively will be inflated by one because of his 93.75 carry-over points for striking. A guilty plea would cut one match from the ban.
Geelong's James Kelly is also likely to miss round one next year for a high bump on Fremantle forward Tendai Mzungu.
MATCH REVIEW PANEL
Jesse Hogan's predictions
■Chris Tarrant (Coll) striking Lance Franklin (Haw). No charge, insufficient impact.
■Jarryd Roughead (Haw) rough conduct to Chris Dawes (Coll). Reckless, low impact, body contact. 125 points down due to good record to 93.75 (reprimand); 70.31 with guilty plea (reprimand).
■Reported: Nick Maxwell (Coll) rough conduct to Paul Puopolo (Haw). Reckless, medium impact, high contact. 325 points (3 matches); 243.75 with guilty plea (2 matches).
■Josh Gibson (Haw) tripping Andrew Krakouer (Coll). No charge.
■Jason Porplyzia (Adel) forceful front-on contact to Ryan O'Keefe (Syd). No charge.
■Jude Bolton (Syd) striking Patrick Dangerfield (Adel). No charge.
■Reported: James Kelly (Geel) forceful front-on contact to Tendai Mzungu (Fre). Negligent, low impact, high contact. 125, carry-over points to 218.75 (2 matches); 164.06 with guilty plea (1 match).
■Quinten Lynch (WC) charging Scott McMahon (NM). Negligent, medium impact, body contact. 125 points up due to bad record and carry-over points to 187.5 (1 match); 140.63 with guilty plea (1 match).
■Jack Ziebell (NM) rough conduct to Josh Hill (WC). No charge.
■Brent Harvey (NM) striking Daniel Kerr (WC). Intentional, low impact, high contact. Record: 93.75 carry-over. 225 up due to carry-over to 318.75 (3 matches); 239.06 with guilty plea (2 matches).