AN EMBARRASSED Tom Bugg says he is ready to "cop the consequences" for his strike that left Sydney's Callum Mills concussed in Melbourne's loss on Friday night.
Bugg was reported minutes into his side's 35-point defeat to the resurgent Swans at the MCG, when he struck last year's NAB AFL Rising Star with his left hand.
Mills was immediately floored and helped from the field before failing the club's concussion test and playing no further part in the game. Bugg is expected to face the AFL Tribunal next week, where a heavy penalty looms after the four-game ban given to Richmond's Bachar Houli this week.
It started what was a horror night for the Dees, with the loss ending their four-game winning streak and being compounded by a foot injury to co-captain Jack Viney.
Bugg, who appeared to apologise to Mills at the end of the game, said he regretted the incident that hung over the contest for the rest of the night.
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"I saw the footage and it does look really bad. I'm a bit embarrassed, my genuine intent – it looks really bad – but it wasn't to hurt Callum," Bugg told Channel Seven after the loss.
"It was disappointing he couldn't take part in the rest of the game, and going forward I hope he's OK.
"I went and tried to speak to him after the game but I could understand he didn't want to speak to me too much. I just hope for him and his family that he gets better and he can play next week."
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The former Greater Western Sydney player has shown an ability to niggle and annoy opponents through his career, but said the incident was not in keeping with how the Demons wanted to play their football.
He added that he was prepared for the backlash over the weekend before the Match Review Panel sits on Monday, where it is likely to send the case direct to the Tribunal.
"We saw the case last week with Bachar and for me, I'll cop the consequences that come my way," he said.
"The AFL don't tolerate it and I don't tolerate it either. It was a silly move by me but going forward, I'll rectify it, I'll do what I can.
"I've let my teammates down now so I'll go away for whatever time I have off and train hard and come back in and help the team do what we have to do."
Swans coach John Longmire was tightlipped about the strike, but said the behind-the-play nature of the action had not escaped anyone's attention.
"Everyone saw it. The world saw it," Longmire said.
Dees coach Simon Goodwin said he didn't address the incident during the game, and denied the club has an on-field discipline issue.
"Clearly Tom's very remorseful about it and it's not a great look and what will be will be. It's not what we want to stand for as a footy club, so we'll deal with what comes his way," he said.
"He's extremely remorseful about what took place. I don't know if it had a great impact on our team but it's clearly not how we want to be seen as a footy club."
WATCH: 'Embarrassed' Bugg will 'cop the consequences'
As Bugg looks set for an extended stint on the sidelines, the Dees may also be without Viney for a period as he deals with a plantar fascia injury in his foot.
The star midfielder gathered 17 disposals to half-time but didn't return after the main break as he nursed the problem, and the club is unsure of how long he may miss.
"He's got some plantar fasciitis, whether it's a tear or a partial tear, we'll get that assessed. Clearly it's not looking great for him. We'll get a clearer picture tomorrow when our medical team have a good look at him and he gets scanned," Goodwin said.
"We'll have to wait and see. It's disappointing again to lose another player, but once again that creates opportunity for others."
After playing four games in 18 days, the Dees have a good break before their next clash next Sunday against Carlton at the MCG.
Jesse Hogan appears likely to return after surgery for his testicular cancer, while Goodwin said small forward Jeff Garlett and Jack Watts may be in the mix after missing the Swans meeting with hamstring injuries.