HAWTHORN forward Jarryd Roughead has suffered a reoccurrence of the melanoma first detected in mid-2015 and will be unavailable for the Hawks indefinitely.
The 29-year-old will undergo a biopsy to determine the best form of treatment.
"If that's confirmed, then he has to go through a series of treatments that will probably go over the course of the next three to four months," Hawthorn football manager Chris Fagan told the club's website on Tuesday.
The four-time premiership player had a melanoma removed from his lip midway through last year and missed two games.
"On a regular basis, he has to go and have a full body scan. He's had one previous and everything was all clear," Fagan said.
"This time around, there are a few spots of cancer."
Fagan said an early detection was a positive, with Roughead's health the only concern for the Hawks.
"His long-term playing future is very much secondary to that, and is not even a consideration at this point in time," he said.
"This is a private medical matter and we would ask everyone to respect Jarryd and his family’s request for privacy during this time."
Roughead had returned to full training following a PCL reconstruction in his knee, and had been expected to be available to play in the next few weeks.
He came into the club on Tuesday to make his teammates aware of the news.
"He bravely came in today. He was fairly determined to talk to them," Fagan said.
"It was quite an emotional time for 'Rough' and for the boys.
Fagan said Roughead would continue to be spend time at the club while he battles the illness.
"I think that's really important for him, that he does get back here and get involved with the boys. He'll be able to do a bit of light training.