Scott Thompson’s admittance of a broken rib has helped clear Steven Johnson of a ban at the AFL tribunal on Tuesday.
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Geelong Cats gun Steven Johnson is free to face Fremantle this weekend after North Melbourne’s Scott Thompson gave evidence he took a broken rib into the game, helping Johnson clear a charge of kneeing.
Johnson had been offered a one-match suspension by the AFL, but chose to contest the charge and risk a two-game ban.
The hearing ruled the 2007 Norm Smith Medallist to not have applied sufficient force to to Thompson’s ribs to warrant a ban.
Johnson said he was relieved to have been cleared and free to play in the Cats’ crunch game against top-rivals Fremantle.
“The correct decision was made and I’m really looking forward to an important game this week,” he said.
Johnson said he tried to pull away from Thompson’s hold on his jumper.
“I then put my knee down in another way of trying to leverage myself away to get away from him,” Johnson said.
“I did place my knee down on him. It was very minor impact and I was quite surprised by his reaction.”
Thompson said he held onto Johnson as he didn’t know where the ball had gone.
He added that he didn’t reply to Johnson’s accusations of faking injury as he feared he would target the broken rib.
“I obviously had to wear a guard and it was pretty sensitive,” he told the tribunal.
“As you could see, it hurt where I had previously broken my rib.
“I didn’t think it was much force, but obviously got the spot where my previous injury was.”