First-year Fremantle player Andrew Brayshaw says he has no hard feelings towards Andrew Gaff, after the Eagles midfielder broke his jaw in last weekend's Western Derby.
"The action itself … it's horrific, but the person that Andrew Gaff is, I forgive him and I'm not going to hold a grudge against him as a person," Brayshaw told Channel Seven.
Andrew's brother Hamish is a teammate of Gaff's at West Coast.
"Hamish told me that out of all the people that he knows, and out of everyone in the AFL, he would have said Andrew Gaff would have been the last person to do it," Brayshaw said.
"A good bloke who's made a bad mistake."
Gaff was suspended for eight weeks for punching Brayshaw behind play. He will not play again this season.
It was the longest suspension handed down by the AFL in almost a decade
Gaff showed remorse after the tribunal hearing on Tuesday night.
"I see myself as a caring, gentle and measured person, and that's why it's disappointing so much more," Gaff said.
"I'm disappointed for Andrew. I'm disappointed in myself."
The strike not only broke the 18-year-old's jaw, but dislodged several of his teeth. He had surgery on the night of the incident, but will require another procedure in the coming weeks.
Brayshaw will not be able to eat solid food for the next month, and has gone to Melbourne to spend time with his parents while he recovers.
The Fremantle midfielder's father, Mark Brayshaw, who played for North Melbourne and is the AFL Coaches Association chief executive, said he was confident his son would bounce back from the incident both physically and emotionally.
He wrote on the PlayersVoice website that he and his family were concerned for Gaff, as he dealt with the fallout from his violent act.
Gaff is set to apologise in person to Brayshaw when the two players meet in the coming days.