Well-known Border sporting personality Trent Ball is set to undergo cancer surgery - more than four years after his first operation.
Ball is a former Cricket Albury-Wodonga representative batsman and played for a number of clubs, including a coaching stint at Tallangatta.
The news will be felt by the region's tight-knit cricket community, with Ball coaching Riverina in the NSW Country Championships, starting in Goulburn on Friday.
"I said to the surgeon, 'mate, is there any chance we could wait until after Riverina'? He looked at me like, 'I'll let you know what's going on'," he laughed.
It's been a long-running battle for the 36-year-old, who was first diagnosed in August, 2016, where he underwent an operation to remove a tumour from his optic nerve.
Unfortunately, it's grown back.
He also had his pituitary gland removed, which regulates various body functions, back in 2016.
It left him constantly thirsty and needing to go to the bathroom up to seven times a night. He also put on 12kgs in three weeks.
"For about 12 months, I was waking up every half hour, but they sorted that out and got me on a sleep apnoea machine," he said.
Ball has hardly worked since the initial operation as he was falling asleep.
"I'm not feeling great, I've got headaches and am always fatigued," he said of his current health.
I'm not feeling great, I've got headaches and am always fatigued. Like going to Goulburn, I'll be wrecked for a few weeks after. Even when we get there (on Thursday), I'll be wrecked by the bus trip up.Trent Ball
"Like going to Goulburn, I'll be wrecked for a few weeks after. Even when we get there (on Thursday), I'll be wrecked by the bus trip up."
Ball is one of the more easy-going characters you would meet, the 'king of casualness', if you like.
"I think it helps because I've been OK, it's more everyone around that is more stressed, my family," the father of 16-year-old Flo and nine-year-old Jesse said.
"Even last time I was alright, right up until the night before, but it's in the morning, when you're going into surgery, that you sort of get into a bit of a panic," he offered.
"It's all happening around you at 100 miles an hour."
But, always the joker, Ball says it's nowhere near as tough as trying to organise 13 players for a cricket team to travel away and take two days off work during COVID-19.
"The Riverina team's been more stressful at the moment," he laughed.
"The closing of the Border and trying to organise our Victorian blokes, we gave that every chance and left it as late as possible."
COVID meant Victorian-based players haven't been able to travel outside the Border 'bubble', ruling out Wodonga players for a crucial rep match in Wagga on November 8.
Ball admits though the cricket has been a welcome, albeit frustrating, distraction and he's kept his latest battle to close family members, so there's every chance many, if not all his Riverina players, will be unaware of the situation.
"Like I said, it's been too stressful with Riverina to worry about myself," he said.
"I just want to make sure everything's right for the boys when they go away, get that preparation right.
"Last year we won two games, it'd be great to win."
Riverina will compete against three other southern zones, starting with ACT Southern Districts on Friday, with Western (Saturday) and Greater Illawarra (Sunday).
The northern zone will play next weekend.
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Now in its 35th season, Riverina has won the NSW Country Championships only once, under captain Keiran Knight in 2002-03.
Ball would love nothing more to finally bring the trophy home.