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Roughead cancer free, starts AFL return

Hawthorn star Jarryd Roughead has declared himself cancer free and is back in full training for an AFL comeback.

Roughead said on Tuesday that his body had made a complete response to treatment for melanoma.

But the four-time premiership star is putting no timeline on when he might return to the AFL, noting he has not played at any level since the 2015 grand final win.

“I am – I’m cancer free and that’s what you wanted to hear,” he told the club website.

“It’s a pretty good feeling.

“I’ve had a complete response from the treatment so far and he (Roughead’s doctor) has given me the all-clear to get back into living normal life.

“(I can) get back to doing things that I want, which is playing footy and living my life, which is what the plan was from the start.

“It reassures me that things are all good and we can get back to normal life.”

Roughead explained that all traces of the cancer were now gone from his body.

” A complete response means that the lumps are gone and the tumours have gone.

“So what we’re saying is that the drugs that I had have worked and killed off everything.”

But he remains cautious, saying he must look after his immune system.

Roughead trained on Monday morning as the Hawks returned for their pre-season and he received the good news later that afternoon.

The ruck-forward had a melanoma cut from his lip last year and in May tests showed the cancer had spread to his lungs.

Roughead already was out of action for the first half of this season because of a knee injury.

He had to undergo debilitating immunotherapy treatment.

Roughead will continue to have checks every three months, but said that was only as a precaution.

“After the last one with my lip, we knew we had surveillance and checkups and that’s what got this one in the first place,” he said.

“So it’s not as if I’m going back to see if I’ve still got it, it’s what is part of the deal now.

“That will go on for a couple of years and then obviously extend the longer we go.”

He said he had no idea how long it would take to be ready for an AFL return.

“I don’t think you can put a timeline on it straight away,” he said.

“We’re on the right road and right path to hopefully playing footy again.”

Roughead noted he had not been able to train for six or seven months.

“I haven’t been able to hit some bodies and have a muck around on the field – that’s as much a release as it is a job,” he said.

“I’m pretty much starting from scratch.”

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