Hawthorn key forward Jarryd Roughead has put his AFL career on hold indefinitely after a return of the cancer which sidelined him last year.
The 29-year-old four-time Hawks premiership player had a melanoma cut out of his lip in 2015.
He returned to football after a scan found no sign of further cancers. A routine scan on Monday, however, revealed the cancer had returned and spread internally.
"This time around there are a few spots of cancer to be seen on the scan. Obviously that means there has to be a medical intervention going forward," Hawthorn football manager Chris Fagan said.
Roughead told his teammates the news on Tuesday.
We sat in our player development manager's office and we both just had a bit of a cry. No words were needed but the seriousness of it would break anyone down, no matter how strong or how fit you are.
"He was fairly determined to talk to all of them," Fagan said.
"He stood in front of the group and told them everything that had happened.
"It was quite an emotional time for Rough and for the boys, but he was determined to let them know and to also let them know that he was going to be okay.
"Footy's our business, but we care more about the people who work here than the football."
One man who took the news particularly hard was fellow star Jordan Lewis, who was picked up by the Hawks in the 2004 national draft alongside Roughead.
The two were best men at each other's weddings.
"Probably in his head, he thought he was over it because he had a scan six months ago and nothing showed up. But obviously the scan this time has shown differently," Lewis said on the Fox Sports show AFL 360 on Tuesday night.
"It's very serious, extremely serious. Any form of cancer is serious but it's going to be a bit of a tough road for him. But we're there for him."
"It hit him hard. When we were both at the club, we sat in our player development manager's office and we both just had a bit of a cry.
"No words were needed but the seriousness of it would break anyone down, no matter how strong or how fit you are."
'Roughy is up for the fight': Riewoldt: JACK Riewoldt has reflected on his own cancer scare foll... https://t.co/VgkclHTBx9 (Fox Sports)— AFL Season News (@AFL_SeasonNews) May 17, 2016
Roughead married his partner Sarah Dunn in February. He had not played a game so far in season 2016 due to a knee injury.Suggest a correction