Melbourne forward Jesse Hogan has been diagnosed with a form of testicular cancer.
The young star player is due to have an operation on Tuesday afternoon and will be out indefinitely.
Hogan did not play at the weekend due to illness but it has emerged he was recently diagnosed with the form of cancer and will undergo surgery. It is unknown if he will require chemotherapy or radio therapy afterwards.
Hogan's father died only weeks ago.
In a statement on Tuesday morning, the club said: "The Melbourne Football Club wishes to advise that Jesse Hogan has been diagnosed with testicular cancer and will today undergo surgery to have the tumor removed.
"Jesse underwent an ultrasound late last week which revealed a small mass in his testicle suggestive of a seminoma, which is a type of cancer.
"Jesse has also undergone a CT scan which determined the cancer has not spread to any other part of his body
"It's important to reinforce that this was an extremely early detection and the seminoma is in its earliest stage of growth. He is expected to make a full recovery."
Demons football general manager Josh Mahoney said the club had informed the players on Friday.
"The club's collective heart is with Jesse Hogan. This is clearly a very difficult time for Jesse and his health and wellbeing is the number one priority for us," he said in the statement.
"Jesse will obviously miss a period of football due to this surgery but we expect him to make a full recovery and return to AFL in the short-term future."
- THE AGE