Worcestershire all-rounder Ashley Noffke is counting his blessings after a hip injury led to an early skin cancer diagnosis.
The 32-year-old Australian took advantage of a spell on the sidelines with the injury to have an innocuous looking mole removed from his leg.
The mole turned out to be a grade three melanoma and led to Noffke being booked in for immediate surgery prior to Christmas.
He said: "To get hit by the hip injury was very frustrating but in hindsight maybe it was all for a greater cause.
"If I hadn't have had the hip injury and spent so much time off the field, I wouldn't have had the mole removed off my leg and I wouldn't have known it was a melanoma.
"The doctor said to me if I had come over here to Worcestershire without having it cut out, there was a fair chance of being less likely to be cured so I was very lucky I had spent some time off the field.
"I got checked by the specialist just before I came over here and obviously that is an ongoing process, every three or four months.
"As soon as I get back to Australia, I will be going to see him again.
"It is a matter of keeping an eye on everything. I am a pretty freckly sort of character so I've got to be extra careful about being in the sun and also if there are changes in the body and marks on the skin.
"Hopefully it is past me now but the hip injury in its way has probably gone a long way to, not so much saving my life, but saving a long painful road of trying to cure.
"If I had come over here without having it cut out, the chances of being cured would have dropped dramatically."