Date: May 16 2012
RICHMOND ruckman Angus Graham was last night cleared by the VFL tribunal of allegedly kicking North Ballarat defender Michael Searl at the weekend.
But Graham, who was red-carded for the incident in the second term while playing for Coburg, remains in doubt to take his place this week after he sustained an ankle injury in the marking contest against Searl.
His rolled ankle may rule him out of contention for a recall for Saturday night's AFL match against Essendon, in which he may have been the support for Ivan Maric against Bomber talls Tom Bellchambers and Paddy Ryder.
Graham argued at the VFL tribunal that he had put his leg out to "loosen" his ankle. The umpire believed the movement was intentional. "He's [Searl] hit my foot and it's put me off balance," Graham said.
"It's my left ankle, I've rolled it out and done all the ligaments in my ankle. It's swollen and bruised. Obviously it's busted it all and I was just in a lot of pain.''
Searl, who spoke via a conference call, said Graham had "lashed out" through frustration because of suffering an injury but admitted the kick had only "brushed" his right leg.
The three-man panel adjudicated that there was no contact with Searl from the kick.
Ruckman Andrew Browne was fined $400 for contact with an umpire in the same match but remains available for a recall to the Richmond team.
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