AFL: Jesse Hogan will have surgery today after the AFL star was diagnosed with testicular cancer.
The Melbourne Demons forward missed last week's clash against Adelaide with what was described as "illness" and the club this morning confirmed it told the playing group the news about Hogan last Friday.
His diagnosis comes three weeks after the 22-year-old's father died following a lengthy battle with cancer.
In a statement, Melbourne said early detection meant it was hopeful Hogan will make a full recovery and return to the footy field later this year.
"The Melbourne Football Club wishes to advise that Jesse Hogan has been diagnosed with testicular cancer and will today undergo surgery to have the tumor removed," the statement read.
"Jesse underwent an ultrasound late last week which revealed a small mass in his testicle suggestive of a seminoma, which is a type of cancer.
"Jesse has also undergone a CT scan which determined the cancer has not spread to any other part of his body
"It's important to reinforce that this was an extremely early detection and the seminoma is in its earliest stage of growth. He is expected to make a full recovery."
General Manager of Football Josh Mahoney said: "The club's collective heart is with Jesse Hogan. This is clearly a very difficult time for Jesse and his health and wellbeing is the number one priority for us.
"We informed the players of this on Friday and respected Jesse's wishes to keep this information private up until this point.
"Jesse will obviously miss a period of football due to this surgery but we expect him to make a full recovery and return to AFL in the short-term future.
"We ask the public and media to respect his privacy during this period."
The AFLPA family would like to extend our best wishes to @jesseBhogan and his family at this time.— AFL Players (@AFLPlayers) 15 May 2017
Melbourne legend Garry Lyon says it's important for people to stay positive in the face of the "shocking" news.
"It is shocking but right now you've just got to take a positive slant on this. A young kid, he's healthy, fit, he's up and about," Lyon said on SEN radio.
"Football becomes a secondary importance. If you're a footy head straight away your mind goes, 'Oh no,' but it is absolutely well down the path and from all of Melbourne and I'm sure the broader footy community is just saying, 'Get yourself right, get yourself up and going and come back bigger and better than ever.'"
Australian cricketer Matthew Wade knows what it's like to fight back from testicular cancer after he was diagnosed with the disease as a 16-year-old. The wicketkeeper says the mental battle facing Hogan is just as challenging as the physical one.
"It probably took three or four months to get out the other side and then build your body back up," Wade told SEN. "The bad thing about chemotherapy ... it basically shuts down your whole body so it takes an extended period of time to build yourself back up and then obviously to get back to where he wants to get to is going to be a fair fight.
"I think it will be a longer period of time for him for sure, he's got people in the right places to get him back but I think it's more of a mental thing - well it was for me more than anything to really get committed to go back out and have a crack.
"It really rocks you, I suppose it makes you question things about what you're doing and life itself so I think more mentally rather than physically.
"If he wants to do it physically he'll do it quite easily but mentally is probably the hardest thing to get through."
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