JARRYD Roughead has a tough road ahead of him as he deals with the "extremely serious" reoccurrence of melanoma, his close friend and premiership teammate Jordan Lewis says.
The Hawks revealed on Tuesday that Roughead's melanoma, first detected in mid-2015, had returned, sparking an outpouring of support from across the football industry on social media.
Lewis, who was best man at Roughead's wedding earlier this year, said the 29-year-old had been hit hard by the news and had a challenging road ahead of him.
"It's very serious, it's extremely serious. Any form of cancer is serious. It's going to be a bit of a tough road for him but we're there for him," an emotional Lewis said on Fox Footy.
"When he first got the scare with his lip it was probably a little bit unknown and he probably didn't know how to react, but certainly the news he got yesterday has shaken him up.
"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 showed differently."
Roughead underwent a routine scan on Monday afternoon, which revealed the cancer, and Lewis was one of the first people he called.
Lewis said he was driving home from the club at about 4.30pm when Roughead asked him if he could return.
"Usually when someone asks you that, 'Clarko' has thought of a meeting," Lewis said.
"He just broke down and asked for me to come back.
"When we were both at the club, we just sat in our player development manager's office and we both just sort of had a bit of a cry.
"No words were needed, but the seriousness of it would break anyone down, no matter how strong or fit you are."
Lewis, who then spent the evening with Roughead as he told family and friends, said the star Hawk would be receiving extremely good care as he investigates the best course of treatment.
Teammates since they were drafted together at the end of 2004, Lewis said he had gained a new appreciation for Roughead's character.
"When you are close to someone, you don't realise the impact he has on a lot of people," he said.
"It's when you're at distance to someone and if they have some sort of impact on you that you realise they are, one, made of really good character, and two, just a genuinely good bloke.
"He is one who is just loved by everyone, footy fans for the way he plays but also the way he conducts himself off the field.
"That was shown today by the outpouring of tweets in support of 'Roughy', and he'll need all of that."