IOWA CITY, Iowa – Patrick McCaffrey of Iowa will take indefinite leave to deal with his mental health, the athletic department announced Tuesday.
McCaffery, the son of head coach Fran McCaffery, said in a statement that he has been battling anxiety to the point where it has hampered his preparation and performance.
“It’s not fair to myself or my teammates to be on the court when I’m not myself,” he said. I no longer have the energy levels I need to reach my full potential.”
Patrick McCaffery has started all 14 games and is the Hawkeyes’ third-leading scorer, averaging 12.8 points per game. He struggled in his last two games, shooting 15-for-2 from the field in eight-point combined losses to Nebraska and Penn State.
“It could be two games, it could be four games, it could be more, but I’ll be back when I feel like it,” said the fourth-year forward.
McCaffery said the leave of absence had nothing to do with his past battle with cancer. He was 13 when he was treated for thyroid cancer. He had his two surgeries and from his diagnosis he was declared cancer-free after 3 months.
McCaffery said in an interview last month that having his thyroid removed changed his metabolism, requiring him to pay close attention to his nutrition and sleep habits.
Fran McCaffery said the effects of his son’s anxiety have become more pronounced on and off the court in recent weeks.
“We all admire his courage and willingness to speak up about this struggle. We want others to know they are not alone,” the coach said. I am with him every step of the way.”
Iowa (8-6, 0-3 Big Ten) will play No. 15 Indiana at home on Thursday.