Hawthorn star Jarryd Roughead says he has no plans to retire, despite facing a 12-month battle to beat the illness.
Roughead fronted the media on Tuesday morning with club doctor Michael Makdissi and football manager Chris Fagan.
Makdissi revealed that Roughead has four small melanoma spots on his lung. The four-time premiership star will have immuno therapy, which differs from the traditional chemotherapy, for 12 months.
“Jarryd has had a recurrence of his melanoma. He’s feeling perfectly well, so it’s come as a surprise to us,” Makdissi said.
“Jarryd has had a recurrence of his melanoma. He has four small spots on his lung.
“It’s a serious problem but we’re optimistic of a good outcome.
“Jarryd will start immunotherapy next week. It will be a 12-month process. The disadvantages (of the therapy) are that we don’t know what the side effects are going to be.”
Despite the initial shock of the news, Roughead said he is optimistic of a quick and successful outcome and he simply wants to get on with it.
“When the news hit two weeks ago, it was a shock,” Roughead said.
“Footy becomes secondary and you’ve got to focus on your health.”
The 29-year-old thanked everyone for their support, but said he still wants to be treated the same.
“Everyone has been unreal (with their support). You know everyone’s in your corner.
“I just want people to treat me as normal.
“I know what we have to do now… I’m still walking around fine, going out and having dinner.
“I’m still going to be out here and I’m still going to be on trips. I’m going to be the same old me.”
Roughead quashed any rumours of a possible retirement, stating he intends to play out the remaining years of his contract.
“I heard rumours I was going to retire today. But I’m 29 and I’ve got two years on a deal – hopefully longer – that’s the plan,” he said.
“I’m fine. Initially I was flat … But I feel fine. I know what we have to do and everyone is in my corner.
“There’s no point feeling down for me, it’s not going to make you feel better or make me feel better.”
Hawthorn football manager Chris Fagan thanked Roughead for the way he has handled himself during the difficult process to date.
“The way he’s handled himself … he’s educated the rest of us on how to best look after him over the next little while. You go into overdrive. I want you blokes to treat me normally. That’s a great message for everyone. The best thing we can do now is treat Rough normally and give him the privacy he needs,” Fagan said.