Iowa’s Patrick McCaffery takes indefinite leave to address anxiety

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Iowa City, Iowa — Iowa Patrick McCaffery will take an indefinite leave of absence to address his mental health, the athletic department announced Tuesday.

McCaffery, son of head coach Fran McCaffery, said in a statement that he struggles with anxiety and that it has gotten to the point where it hinders his preparation and performance.

“It’s not fair to me or my teammates to be on the court if I’m not myself,” he said. “Anxiety affected my sleep, appetite and stamina, resulting in me not having the energy levels needed to compete at my full potential.”

Patrick McCaffery has started all 14 games and is the Hawkeyes’ third-leading scorer, averaging 12.8 points per game. He has struggled in the past two games, shooting 2 for 15 from the field and scoring a combined eight points in losses to Nebraska and Penn State.

“It could be two matches, it could be four matches, it could be more, but I’ll be back when I feel like myself,” the fourth-year forward said.

McCaffery said the leave of absence is unrelated to his past battle with cancer. She was 13 when she was treated for thyroid cancer. She underwent two surgeries and was declared cancer-free three months after her diagnosis.

McCaffery said in an interview last month that the removal of his thyroid caused metabolic changes that required him to pay close attention to his nutrition and sleep habits.

Fran McCaffery said the effects of her son’s anxiety have become more noticeable on and off the court in the past few weeks.

“We all admire her courage and willingness to be open about this struggle, and we hope others know they are not alone,” Koch said. “We will be with him every step of the way.”

Iowa (8-6, 0-3 Big Ten) will play at home Thursday against No. 15 Indiana.

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