By JOHN BOHNENKAMP
Iowa forward Patrick McCaffery announced on Tuesday that he would be taking a leave of absence from the team to address anxiety issues.
“I have been battling anxiety for a while, and recently it has peaked, which has inhibited my preparation and performance on the court,” McCaffery said in a statement released by the university. “It’s not fair to myself or teammates to be on the court when I am not myself. The anxiety has affected my sleep, appetite, and stamina, which has resulted in not having the energy level necessary to compete at my full capabilities. My struggle with anxiety affects every aspect of my well-being and makes it incredibly difficult to function normally. This is what I am battling right now. For this reason, I am taking an indefinite leave to address my situation.”
McCaffery, a fourth-year junior, has started all 14 games this season after starting 32 last season. He is averaging 12.8 points per game.
McCaffery has scored in double figures in 10 games this season, but has scored just eight points in the last two games, making just 2-of-15 shots.
“Patrick is one of the millions of people who battle through anxiety on a daily basis,” said Iowa coach Fran McCaffery, Patrick’s father. “It has become more noticeable on and off the court over the past couple weeks. Patrick has the full support of his family, coaches, teammates, and administration as he fights through this. All of us admire his courage and willingness to be open about this struggle and we hope others know that they are not alone. We will be with him every step of the way.”
Patrick McCaffery left open when he could return to the game.
“It might be two games, it may be four games, it may be more, but I will return when I feel like myself,” he said in the statement.
McCaffery said in the statement the anxiety issues are not related to his past battle with thyroid cancer.
Photo: Iowa’s Patrick McCaffery (22) drives to the basket in a game against Eastern Illinois earlier this season. (Keith Gillett/Icon SportsWire)