Collingwood defender Marley Williams says he's devastated after being convicted of assault and will take time away from playing in the AFL.
Williams has pulled out of Collingwood's team to play in Sunday's practice game against the Gold Coast at Metricon Stadium and won't play again until after his sentencing hearing on April 22.
The 20-year-old faces potential jail time for the attack on 29-year-old Matthew Robertson outside a West Australian nightclub during the Christmas holidays in 2012.
Robertson received a broken jaw in the incident, and Judge Julie Wager has warned Williams the grievous bodily harm offence would usually attract an immediate prison term.
"This decision was initiated by Marley, who feels that it is not in his or anyone else's interests to see out the period up to his sentencing by attempting to play football at the highest level," the Magpies said on Friday in a statement.
The decision came after consultation with health and legal professionals, the player's management, the players' association and the AFL.
Williams has chosen not to play on Sunday but will continue to train for a possible return in late April, Collingwood said.
"At the moment I'm devastated," Williams said.
"I'm in a situation I never imagined I would be in and trying to work through the challenges of that, while trying to play is something I'm struggling with.
"I made a mistake, and I'm sorry for that. I've attempted ever since to do the right thing and the right thing for me, my family, friends and everyone else is to have some time out.
"The strain on my family and the distraction this has created for the club is something I'm not comfortable with."
Williams finished seventh in Collingwood's best and fairest award in 2013, playing 16 games for a career total of 22.
Collingwood say they'll continue to support the hard-running defender.
"Marley has shown great remorse for what occurred and accepts responsibility for what he did," the club said.
"Collingwood does not condone violence of any description, and does not want to understate what transpired, but over the past 15 months Marley has been an exemplary member of the football club."
Collingwood's season opens on March 14 in round one against Fremantle at Etihad Stadium.
Williams' sentencing date on April 22 falls three days before the round-six Anzac Day clash with Essendon at the MCG.