Essendon vice captain Andrew Welsh has been ruled out for four weeks after unsuccessfully contesting charges for misconduct at the tribunal tonight.
The Match Review Panel charged Welsh with a level four misconduct offence for kneeing Xavier Ellis during the third quarter of the club's Round 6 match against Hawthorn last weekend.
Essendon general manager of football operations Paul Hamilton said the Bombers had appealed to get Welsh's charge reduced from intentional to reckless conduct.
""We contested the charge on the basis that it was never Andrew's intent to knee Ellis in the groin and we strongly believe that,"" Hamilton said.
""Unfortunately the tribunal didn't agree with that view tonight and we have to accept the outcome.
""We think Andrew is a person of great character and we are obviously disappointed because Andrew is an important player for us and to have him missing for that period of time is disappointing.""
The incident was assessed as intentional conduct (three points), medium impact (two points) and groin contact (two points).  This is a total of seven activation points, resulting in a classification of a Level Four offence, drawing 425 demerit points and a four-match sanction.