Despite having his jaw broken, teeth displaced and being ruled out of the remainder of the AFL season, Andrew Brayshaw has forgiven the man that put him in that position – Andrew Gaff.
Speaking for the first time since the devastating incident, the Fremantle youngster is still suffering as a result of the shocking hit, but says he won’t hold a grudge over Gaff.
“The action itself is horrific,” Brayshaw told 7 News in an exclusive.
“But the person who Andrew Gaff is, I forgive him.
“I’m not going to hold a grudge against him as a person.
“Hamish told me that out of all the people that he knows, and out of everyone in the AFL, that Andrew Gaff would be the last person to do it.”
The classy response from the Fremantle youngster comes just days after his father also offered his forgiveness, saying the bond Gaff shares with Andrew’s brother, Hamish, will help to repair the relationship between the two players.
“Thankfully Hamish is in a position to connect the two Andrews hopefully in the next day or two … and the two of them can shake hands and move on,” Mark Brayshaw told SEN radio on Wednesday.
“It can potentially get nasty but I’m really hopeful it won’t.”
Gaff fronted a packed tribunal hearing at the AFL’s Etihad Stadium headquarters on Tuesday night to answer for his savage hit during the third quarter of the western derby.
After Gaff received his eight-week suspension from the AFL for his moment of madness, he choked back tears as he apologised to Brayshaw for the devastating blow.
Dockers club doctor Ken Withers described in graphic detail the damage caused by Gaff’s swinging left-arm punch, which included a broken jaw, the displacement of three teeth and a deep laceration to his lower lip that went down to the muscle.
Brayshaw will not be able to eat solid food for four weeks after having a splint surgically implanted to realign his jaw and teeth – five of which may have to be replaced.
Despite being in recovery mode where he says the blender has become one of his most important utilities, Brayshaw joked it wasn’t as bad as it seems.
“I’ve definitely seen better days,” he said.
“Very surprisingly it still tastes the same.
“You close your eyes and if you’re having blended pasta, then it still tastes like pasta.”