Iowa City, Iowa — Patrick Maccaferi of Iowa will be taking an indefinite leave of absence to deal with a mental health issue, the athletic department said Tuesday.
McCaffery, the son of head coach Fran McCaffery, said in a statement that he struggles with anxiety and that it has reached the point where it interferes with his training and performances.
“It’s not fair to me or my teammates to be on the court when I’m not myself,” he said. “Anxiety has affected my sleep, appetite and endurance, resulting in me not having enough energy to compete at my full potential.”
Patrick McCaffery has started in all 14 games and is the third leading scorer for the Hawkeyes, averaging 12.8 points per game. He struggled in his last two games, hitting 2-of-15 from the field and scoring eight points in total in 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 myself,” the fourth-year forward said.
McCaffrey said the vacation was unrelated to his past battle with cancer. He was 13 years old when he was treated for thyroid cancer. He underwent two surgeries and was declared healthy three months after the diagnosis.
McCaffrey said in an interview last month that the removal of his thyroid caused metabolic changes that require him to pay close attention to his diet and sleep habits.
Fran McCaffery said the effects of his son’s anxiety have become more visible on and off the court over the past couple of weeks.
“We all admire his courage and willingness to speak openly about this struggle, and we hope others know they are not alone,” the coach said. “We will be with him every step of the way.”
Iowa (8-6, 0-3 Big Ten) plays at home Thursday against No. 15 Indiana.
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