Rough trot for needy Hawks

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT - BRUCE MATTHEWS AFL ROUND 14

HAWTHORN’S ur­gency for Jar­ryd Roug­head’s re­turn is al­most as cru­cial as his wel­fare.

Roug­head missed only two games in the Hawks’ premier­ship rampage over the past two sea­sons – and they lost both.

Ad­mit­tedly, away games against Port Ade­laide in Round 10 and Fre­man­tle in Round 21 last year were tough as­sign­ments, but the ver­sa­tile Hawk, who kicked 72 and 75 goals in those tri­umphant sea­sons, is al­most ir­re­place­able.

Roug­head will miss at least tonight’s game against Colling­wood and the next round against AFL lad­der- leader Fre­man­tle in Launce­s­ton fol­low­ing surgery on Wed­nes­day to re­move a melanoma on his lower lip.

“We don’t know when he’ll be back. We do know there’s still a few more tests to do on the skin around the lip. We’ll prob­a­bly know those re­sults mid to late next week,” Hawks football man­ager Chris Fa­gan said yesterday.

“If ev­ery­thing goes well, he might be avail­able in two or three weeks time.”

Fa­gan said Roug­head re­mains up­beat af­ter the op­er­a­tion on the skin can­cer, dis­cov­ered when a club doc­tor re­ferred him to a spe­cial­ist to check a le­sion on his lip.

“We talked to the group this morn­ing, it was im­por­tant they got the news from us. They han­dled it well and they know Rough’s ex­pec­ta­tion of them will just be to put that be­hind them and go out and play well to­mor­row night,” Fa­gan said.

“They ( doc­tors) were very happy how the surgery went last night, but we can’t stand here and say cat­e­gor­i­cally that he’s all clear be­cause there’s still some tests to be done.

“Rough is like the carer in the group, he cares for ev­ery­body else, so they’re all ob­vi­ously con­cerned and hope that he makes a full re­cov­ery.

“Be­cause he’s fair and has got ginger hair, he gets his skin checked ev­ery six months. He’s dili­gent on that, so that’s some­thing Rough has been liv­ing with all his life and will con­tinue to do so.

“He’s the most dili­gent player, he al­ways has plenty of sun­screen at train­ing, wears a hat, has long sleeves, does all the right things. It’s a re­ally good mes­sage to ev­ery­body just how care­ful you have to be.’’

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