MELBOURNE forward Jesse Hogan could return to playing in four to eight weeks after being diagnosed with cancer just weeks after his father died of the disease.
The 22-year-old, who grew up in Perth before being drafted to the Demons, was to undergo surgery for testicular cancer on Tuesday, after he missed last week’s game against Adelaide.
Melbourne’s club doctor Zeeshan Arain said the cancer was in a very early stage of growth and hadn’t spread and the prognosis was very good.
Hogan won’t require any further treatment such as chemotherapy.
“At this stage surgery and active surveillance is all he needs so that’s really good news for him,” Arain said.
“Purely from a physical point of view of the operation and recovery, we expect he could return to play somewhere between four to eight weeks but obviously we’ll have to look back at how he’s had a disrupted year as well from a conditioning point of view and also his psychological state.”
Hogan went to Arain last Tuesday feeling some discomfort with the doctor saying the young key forward was “hyper-vigilant” given the recent death of his father.
Arai said that there was no genetic link between the Hogan men’s cancer and he was simply “unlucky”.
The Demons told Hogan’s shocked teammates last Friday and they immediately rallied around him.
Melbourne general manager of football Josh Mahoney said Hogan was in good spirits, and watched their VFL team play on the weekend.
“It’s been a really tough year for Jesse with all the things he’s gone through with the passing of his father,” Mahoney said.
“We’re seeing a young 22-year-old maturing in front of our eyes.”
Hogan was given leave by the club after his father Tony Hogan, a former WAFL player, died in Melbourne last month following a long battle with cancer.
The forward, who is on contract with the Demons until the end of 2019, has only played four games this season having missed the club’s round six clash with Essendon to return to Adelaide for his father’s funeral.