SUSPENDED West Coast star Andrew Gaff is eligible to play in this month's experimental AFLX tournament, despite still serving his eight-match ban for striking Fremantle's Andrew Brayshaw.
Brayshaw suffered a broken jaw, lost five teeth and was forced to eat through a straw in the aftermath of the violent incident in round 20 last year.
As is the case with all players carrying over a suspension from the previous season, Gaff is also able to play in the JLT Community Series.
"AFL suspensions are served in the home-and-away season and during the finals," the League confirmed to AFL.com.au on Tuesday.
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The AFL also confirmed that a player suspended from an incident in an AFLX game would have to serve that ban in the home-and-away season.
"A player is permitted to play in the JLT Community Series and AFLX Tournament, but any reportable offence from a JLT Community Series or AFLX match that results in a suspension would also be served in the home-and-away season."
The out-of-character hit effectively cost Gaff a premiership medal, and he was highly emotional in the moments after his teammates' Grand Final win.
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It is not clear whether Gaff has made himself available to be picked by one of the four captains in this week's inaugural AFLX Draft.
Whether he plays in the family-focused February 22 tournament or not, Gaff is likely to return to the field for the Eagles when they face Geelong at Leederville Oval in the JLT Community Series on March 1.
West Coast's second JLT Series game could see Gaff come face-to-face with Brayshaw on the field for the first time since the incident, with a game against Fremantle scheduled for Mandurah on March 10.
Gaff will miss the first two games of the home and away season as he completes his ban, meaning he could play in the Eagles' Grand Final re-match against Collingwood in round three.