Hawthorn are hopeful Jarryd Roughead is on track to make a full recovery and will be able to play a part in the club’s 2017 AFL premiership campaign.
Roughead continues to undergo debilitating immunotherapy treatment. He suffered a recurrence of a melanoma he’d previously had cut from his lip, that had also spread further through his body, in May.
That course of treatment is expected to last through to next June.
But Hawks coach Alastair Clarkson said the 29-year-old had received some good news as he continued his cancer fight.
“He’s had some positive results to some tests over the last four or five weeks,” Clarkson said.
“(They) indicate that some of these drugs are doing some good work. He’s not out of the woods by any stretch, but we’ve been given some hope that it’s tracking in the right direction for him.
“But he’s still got a lot of treatment that’s required. We just cross our fingers.
“It’d be great if our boys could play with him again next year, but we’d rather finish 18th just to have his health back again.”
Roughead didn’t play any part in the club’s 2016 campaign as he was sidelined by a knee injury when he received the shock news the cancer had returned.
The Hawks’ tilt at a historic fourth straight flag came to a halt on Friday night with a 23-point semi-final loss to the Western Bulldogs.