Emerging AFL star Jesse Hogan has been diagnosed with testicular cancer, the Melbourne Football Club has confirmed.
The 22-year-old forward missed his side’s win against Adelaide on Saturday after the club said he was suffering from illness.
The club said Hogan would have surgery on Tuesday and was expected to make a full recovery, but would be sidelined indefinitely.
His father died of cancer late last month.
Club doctor Zeeshan Arai said Hogan came to him after finding a lump in his testicle, which turned out to be seminoma, a type of cancer.
A CT scan revealed it had not spread to the rest of his body.
“He’d been feeling a little bit of vague discomfort,” Dr Arai said.
“And probably going through what he had with his father, people become a little hyper-vigilant as well.
“He wasn’t feeling unwell, no other symptoms or problems other than just feeling a lump.”
Hogan was named the AFL’s rising star in 2015 and has been Melbourne’s leading goal kicker for the past two seasons.
Dr Arai said Hogan would not require chemotherapy, meaning he could return to the field in four to eight weeks.
“When people hear cancer everyone gets very worried, everything gets lumped in together,” he added.
“But it’s a very curable cancer, it’s very early stage, it’s excellent prognosis. As a male, if you’re going to get cancer, this is the one to get.”
Hogan was informed of the diagnosis last Thursday, after presenting to medical staff on Tuesday.
‘A resilient character’
Melbourne’s football general manager Josh Mahoney said Hogan was very positive, and even initially wanted to play against the Crows last weekend.
The Demons had a surprise win against the Crows in Adelaide on Saturday, just a day after Hogan’s teammates were told of his diagnosis.
“Jesse is good spirits and expected to make a full recovery and return to football this year,” he said.
“All we can do as a club at the moment is offer support and help him and his family though this.
“We’re confident with what we’ve already seen he’ll bounce back. He’s a very resilient character.”
Testicular cancer is the second most common form of cancer for men aged between 18 and 39.
The five-year survival rate for men diagnosed with the disease is 98 per cent.
Long list of sportsmen who return after testicular cancer
Hogan is not the first active high-profile sportsman to be diagnosed with testicular cancer in recent years.
Carlton defender Sam Rowe had fully recovered from the disease before he was drafted by the club as a mature-aged recruit.
Former Adelaide premiership player Tyson Edwards was diagnosed in 2009, towards the end of his career with the Crows, and continued to play the following season.
Australian cricketer Matthew Wade has also been affected, diagnosed as a 16-year-old before forging a successful international career.
Disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong famously returned from an aggressive form of testicular cancer to win the Tour de France seven times, before being stripped of the titles for doping.