Brayden Maynard has fronted reporters following Collingwood's Friday afternoon training session in front of adoring Magpies supporters, forced to address questions about this week's Tribunal saga involving concussed Demon Angus Brayshaw.
After being referred straight to the AFL Tribunal for his heavy collision with Brayshaw during last Thursday's qualifying final, Maynard was cleared of any wrongdoing on Tuesday evening; free to play in Collingwood's preliminary final next weekend.
However, the week's events have evidently taken a toll on the hard-hitting Magpie, who cited his own mental health while explaining his attempts to avoid media coverage throughout the week.
"[I'm] not going to lie, it's been a very big week mentally, I don't want to touch on it too much, I had a few moments there where I wasn't going great," Maynard began on Friday.
"My sole focus has been with Angus and his family, and some of the stuff [I've seen online], I try my best to stay off the media but it's hard when a lot's going on, I've tried my best to just move on and I'm glad it's all done."
Maynard detailed his close relationship with Brayshaw and reiterated his act last Thursday night was "an accident".
"I touched on it after the game, I'm really close with Angus, I have been for quite a while, it was an accident and it's [a situation where] I've checked up on him a couple of times, I love the guy, like I said, so it's been pretty full on and I'm just glad to put it to bed and put it aside now.
"I wanted to just check on his well-being and his welfare and check on Danielle (Frawley, Brayshaw's fiancee), she wasn't there on the day, but my love and my support and my genuine care is for Angus' well-being and his family."
Quizzed about the reports and rumours that have surfaced about his dealings with Brayshaw and his family, Maynard described his evident displeasure.
"Yeah, look, I don't really want to answer that question, I don't know why or how some of the stories (about his dealings) have come out, but when I saw some of them I thought 'what the hell's that?' so I know what I did was right and just the media all around it, I've just tried to block it out, but it gets to stages when it does take a toll."
Earlier in the afternoon, assistant coach Hayden Skipworth addressed the media and responded to questions regarding Maynard, defending the hard-nosed backman.
"(We told him to) keep being a good teammate, keep playing the ball hard, he's obviously had to go through the Tribunal process so that's rattled him a little bit, but he's back on track now," Skipworth said on Friday.
"We support all of our players through and through, and it was a football act, it wasn't anything dirty or untoward, it was unfortunate that Angus (Brayshaw) got concussed [by] it. We want Brayden to keep being Brayden and we'll support him as much as we can.
"He plays the ball, he's not a dirty player, he's hard at it, he's a real barometer for us, so we want him to keep that up."
Collingwood awaits the winner of Saturday night's Port Adelaide-GWS clash in a preliminary final at the MCG next weekend.