GEELONG, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 18: Tom Stewart of the Cats marks the ball during the round 22 AFL match between the Geelong Cats and the Fremantle Dockers at GMHBA Stadium on August 18, 2018 in Geelong, Australia. (Photo by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)

Geelong Cats star defender Tom Stewart could land in hot water over a late shot on Richmond's Dion Prestia.

The incident, which came at the back end of the first quarter, saw Prestia subbed out of the game after being helped from the ground by trainers.

While Prestia himself will, at the very least, have to pass concussion protocols to return for next weekend's clash on Sunday afternoon against the West Coast Eagles, Geelong's Stewart could be on the sidelines for far longer pending the finding of the match review officer and tribunal in the coming days.

The incident saw Prestia tap a bouncing ball into the path of a teammate, before Stewart ran past the football and made direct, high contract with the head of Prestia on the point of his own shoulder.

While Stewart will undoubtedly be looking at a charge from the Match Review Officer, some doubt exists over what level charge will be made against him.

Geelong will be keeping their fingers crossed that the charge is at a "careless" level, rather than "severe".

RELATED: Full AFL Match Review Officer and Tribunal guide

Should the AFL rank it as careless with only a high impact contact, he could escape with a two-match ban. Severe high contact of the careless variety however would see him hit with three matches and a trip to the tribunal.

If the AFL's Match Review Officer determines the contact as intentional with severe impact however, then Stewart would be looking at four matches and a trip to the tribunal regardless of plea.

Geelong face North Melbourne next week, however, big clashes in the weeks that follow against Melbourne and Carlton are now likely to be without their star defender.