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Cancer shock for Demons forward Jesse Hogan

Football

UPDATED | Gun Melbourne forward Jesse Hogan could return to playing in as little as one to two months, after being diagnosed with cancer just weeks after his father died of the disease.

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The 22-year-old, a rising marquee star of the AFL, is undergoing surgery for testicular cancer today. He was a late withdrawal for Saturday night’s win over Adelaide, with the club citing illness.

But the Demons confirmed this morning that Hogan had been diagnosed with testicular cancer after “an ultrasound late last week revealed a small mass in his testicle suggestive of a seminoma”.

His teammates were told of the diagnosis on Friday, ahead of the Round Eight clash.

The shock news comes just three weeks after the death of his father Tony, a former WAFL player, after a long battle with cancer.

Melbourne’s club doctor Zeeshan Arain said the cancer was in a very early stage of growth and hadn’t spread, with the prognosis deemed “very good”.

He said 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.

Arain said that there was no genetic link between the two cases, and Hogan was simply “unlucky”.

Melbourne’s 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.”

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 fly to Adelaide for his father’s funeral.

Carlton defender Sam Rowe has previously made a strong return to the game after having testicular cancer removed in 2012, while Hawks captain Jarryd Roughead this year made a high-profile return from a battle with melanoma.

-with AAP

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