MELBOURNE’S leading goalkicker Bayley Fritsch is free to play in Saturday night’s AFL clash with Sydney after overturning his one-match suspension for striking.

Fritsch was charged after striking North Melbourne young gun Tom Powell with a high fend-off during Sunday’s 30-point victory in Hobart.

Match Review Officer Michael Christian assessed the second-quarter incident as careless conduct, medium impact and high contact, drawing the one-match suspension.

Fritsch pleaded not guilty to the careless conduct aspect of the charge, with club lawyer Adrian Anderson arguing the high contact was caused by two aspects outside of the Melbourne forward’s control.

“The high contact was caused by Powell being pushed into him faster and lower than could be reasonably expected,” Anderson said.

“Powell is moving lower and lower as a result of the push.

“There was only 0.2 of a second between (Fritsch) gathering the ball and contact being made. Powell’s hand also pushes Fritsch’s forearm higher.”

The AFL Tribunal’s jury agreed, saying Fritsch didn’t breach his duty of care to the opposition player.

Fritsch booted six goals against the Kangaroos to increase his tally to 18 majors in Melbourne’s 7-0 start to the year.

His availability this week is a big boost to Melbourne, who will be without key defender Adam Tomlinson (ACL tear) for the season, and vice-captain Jack Viney for up to three weeks with a toe injury.

Fritsch was all smiles once the not guilty verdict was read out.

AFL Counsel Jeff Gleeson had argued Fritsch had breached his duty of care to a rival player by raising his forearm.

“The act of raising a forearm and elbow in a fast-moving environment is the careless act,” Gleeson said.

“You’re not intending to strike the other person, but do you breach your duty of care to another player who is approaching you at speed by raising your forearm?

“If your arm or elbow is down, you are no risk of striking someone. He raises his arm as a fend-off method.”