Roughead aims for quick AFL return

Hawthorn star Jarryd Roughead hopes he is one test result away from focussing on an AFL return after his cancer scare.

Speaking for the first time since last week’s surgery, Roughead said all the news so far had been good.

His AFL career is on hold until he receives the medical all-clear.

One of Hawthorn’s most important and admired players had surgery a week ago to have a melanoma removed from his lower lip.

The seriousness of the operation was obvious when Roughead appeared on the club website to talk about what had happened.

Even if the last test comes up clear, Roughead is a week or two away from playing again because the nasty scar on his face must heal first.

“Obviously last week has been a little bit full-on, but I’ve got some good results, some good news,” he said.

“So that’s the best news we could ask for.

“Now it’s just about healing and getting back out there.

“I’ve still got one more (test), but everything has been good so far.

“Obviously I don’t want it to split open again – that’s the main thing.”

Roughead will know by next Monday whether he is in the clear.

For now, Roughead is restricted in what he can eat and the powerfully-built Hawk made it clear that is testing him.

“(Surgery) went well and it’s healing, but eating isn’t going so well so far,” he said.

“It’s just soups and liquid at the moment, soft foods, so there’s no steaks or big chicken meals or anything like that at the moment.

“I had some further tests just to make sure that everything’s clear and I’m just doing everything right.

“It puts everything into perspective when something like this happens, so obviously the club and myself just wanted to make sure that everything was going right and the tests needed to be done.”

The redhead is well-known for being careful about his sun health and Roughead warned others to be diligent about their skin.

“If you do notice spots, just make sure you get checked because it turns everything upside down in the space of a week,” he said.

“You’ve got a full bottom lip one week and you’ve got a big chunk missing the next,” he said.”

Roughead said the support from his teammates and the rest of the AFL had been overwhelming.

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