A FOOTBALL player who had his jaw broken in a grand final won’t be able to eat solid food for six weeks after undergoing surgery.
Kelvin Wallace’s jaw was wired shut and plates inserted during surgery lasting several hours on Monday.
He may need to have teeth removed at a later stage if there is nerve damage.
The Bullioh player was hit by Federal player Ashley Tyrell’s forearm.
The matter is being investigated by the police.
Mr Tyrell must appear before the tribunal on a charge of careless striking.
He received a red card after the incident.
No set penalty has been offered and a tribunal hearing will be arranged next week.
Mr Wallace’s brother, Gordon, said he would not be able to open his mouth for about a fortnight.
“It was worse than they expected once they got in there,” he said of the surgery.
“He will be off work for at least a month.”
Mr Wallace was initially expected to be transferred to a hospital in Melbourne, but a surgeon became available in Albury on Monday.
On one side of his mouth, his teeth were dislodged by about 30 millimetres.
An x-ray shows a serious break to the right side of his jaw.
Mr Wallace said his brother – who has been left unable to speak following the hit – may have long-lasting issues with his jaw following the incident.
The incident occurred with only 10 minutes left in the game.