Melanoma forces Roughead to sit out AFL

AFL star Jarryd Roughead must endure a nerve-wracking week before learning the extent of his skin cancer scare.

The Hawthorn key forward underwent surgery on Wednesday to have a melanoma removed from his lip.

While the operation appeared to go well, he must await the outcome of tests on the skin around the affected area.

Regardless of the results, the surgery will sideline Roughead for at least two to three weeks.

“They were certainly very happy with how the surgery went … but we can’t stand here categorically today and say he’s all-clear,” said Hawks football manager Chris Faganon Thursday.

“There are still some tests to be done.

“We don’t know when he will be back but what we do know is that there’s still a few more tests they need to do on skin around the lip and we’ll probably know those results mid to late next week.

“If everything goes well, he might be available in two or three weeks’ time – we’ll just see.”

Roughead’s health scare has rocked the Hawks.

Apart from being one of their key players, the three-time premiership forward is also one of the most popular players in the competition.

“It’s not the news you want to hear and obviously with what we know about melanomas, they’re not the greatest thing to have,” Fagan said.

“We were all a little bit stunned on Tuesday, it would be fair to say.”

It is the second straight year a health crisis has hit Hawthorn.

Last May, coach Alastair Clarkson was hospitalised and eventually missed five games with Guillain-Barré Syndrome.

Fagan said Roughead was in good spirits.

“He sent through a photo to me last night after his surgery, with his big `dial’ and the scar down the front,” Fagan added.

“He wanted us to make sure we showed the boys this morning.

“So he’s in good spirits and looking forward to making a good recovery.”

Fagan said Roughead went to club doctors last week when the lesion on his lip had not cleared.

He then went to a skin specialist, who reported back on Tuesday with the bad news.

Fagan said Roughead, who has ginger hair and a fair complexion, has always been extremely diligent about his skin and undergoes checkups every six months.

He added Roughead always uses plenty of sunscreen, wears a hat at training and would wear a long-sleeved top even on hot days.

“That’s been something that Rough has been living with for most of his life,” Fagan said.

“He will continue to do so.”

Fagan said if Roughead receives the all-clear, he could resume some training next week.

The club briefed his teammates on Thursday morning.

“Rough’s one of those players, he’s like the carer in the group – he’s the one who cares for everybody else,” Fagan said.

“They were all obviously concerned.

“They know Rough’s expectations of them will just be to put that behind them and go out and play well tomorrow night (against Collingwood).”

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