Hawthorn forward Jarryd Roughead won’t be taking the field in September but he remains a vital part of the AFL club’s push for a fourth consecutive premiership.
Roughead, who had a melanoma cut out of his lip last year, revealed in May that routine scans had uncovered a recurrence.
The 29-year-old continues year-long treatment for cancer but is spending time at the club when possible.
Skipper Luke Hodge suggested Roughead has helped forward James Sicily and many young players at the club during his time on the sidelines and would continue to do so in September.
“He’s been trying to pass on his advice,” Hodge said.
“It’s the kind of person he is, he brings out the best in you. Whether it’s on the field or off it.
“I saw some vision throughout the week of him talking to Burto (Ryan Burton), he’s helped out (James) Sicily and Gunners (Jack Gunston).
“His advice and his maturity to pass on to the younger guys is going to be valuable.”
Hawks coach Alastair Clarkson was proud of the way his side had tried to fill the void left by 2013 Coleman medallist Roughead.
“We’ve sadly missed his presence in our front half but we’ve been able to cope reasonably well in pretty trying circumstances,” Clarkson said.
“Roughy is a quasi-assistant coach.
“It’s just been a little bit difficult (for Roughead to spend time at the club) because he’s had treatment and rehab that he’s needed to go through.”
The Hawks face Geelong in a qualifying final next Friday at the MCG.
Clarkson expected ruckman Ben McEvoy (back) and defender Ben Stratton (pectoral) would both return from injuries against the Cats.