Tony Hogan’s death might have saved his son’s life.
AFL star Jesse Hogan underwent surgery on Tuesday after he went to Melbourne club doctor Zeeshan Arain last week, complaining of discomfort.
The 22-year-old key forward was subsequently diagnosed with testicular cancer.
Hogan is expected to make a full recovery and, remarkably, could be back playing in four to eight weeks, although he is on indefinite leave.
His manager Matt Bain sent a text to Triple M radio, saying Hogan was awake after the operation and it had gone well.
The surgery to remove the growth, most likely a seminoma, is only scheduled as a day procedure.
It is just three weeks since Tony, a former WAFL player, died after a long struggle with a different cancer.
His son is as lucky as he is desperately unlucky – the cancer had been diagnosed early and his prognosis is excellent.
Dr Arain said his father’s illness meant Hogan wasted no time in seeking medical advice.
He added there was no link between the illnesses suffered by father and son, saying Jesse Hogan was simply unlucky.
“He’d been feeling a bit of vague discomfort and – probably going through what he had with his father – people become a little hyper-vigilant as well so, in that setting, it was great that he did come to me,” the doctor said.
“He wasn’t feeling unwell and had no other symptoms or problems other than just feeling a lump.
“As a male, if you’re going to a get a cancer, this is the one to get.”
Hogan told his teammates on Friday and Melbourne general manager of football Josh Mahoney said the key forward was in good spirits, watching their VFL team play on the weekend.
In the AFL, no one felt more for Hogan than Hawthorn captain Jarryd Roughead and Carlton defender Sam Rowe.
It is a year to the day that a routine check-up had revealed Roughead’s recurrence of melanoma.
The star immediately started treatment that sidelined him for the rest of the year.
Roughead, who made a full recovery to play every game this season, offered Hogan his best wishes.
“I was talking to my wife last night and saying it’s 12 months – a lot has happened in that 12 months,” Roughead said.
“When you hear something like this, this morning, it just flattens you because you just don’t wish this upon anyone.
“That’s not what our game is about.”
Rowe has also made a full recovery after having treatment for testicular cancer.
“I have reached out to him and, no doubt, I’ll have a chat to him at some stage,” Rowe said.
In a weird twist to the terrible bond they now shared, Hogan was suspended earlier this season for striking Rowe.
The forward, 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.