On Tuesday, Patrick McCaffery shared in a press release that he will be taking an indefinite leave of absence away from the court, citing anxiety.

“I have been battling anxiety for a while, and recently it has peaked, which has inhibited my preparation and performance on the court. It’s not fair to myself or teammates to be on the court when I am not myself,” Patrick said in the statement. “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. It might be two games, it may be four games, it may be more, but I will return when I feel like myself. My leave of absence is not related to my past battle with cancer.”

His father and Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery spoke with reporters Wednesday, reiterating what his son shared in the press release.

“He has struggled with this for a while. I think he said it pretty well, in terms of how he feels and how his body feels at any point in time in terms of his eating and sleeping and so forth,” McCaffery said. “His energy level isn’t where it needs to be. He’s pretty transparent about how he feels, and so we’re just trying to help him feel better.”

It’s a unique position but one Fran is well acclimated to: Being a father and a coach. In this particular instance, being the former is more important right now.

“Father first, just concerned about his well-being,” Fran said. “But then if he’s struggling in the game, coach him up, then assess where he is physically, then that, of course, is going to affect his minutes if his stamina is an issue, which it has been recently. We keep an eye on it.”

His wife, Margaret, also spoke with reporters following Fran’s presser. She shared more details on the challenges Patrick’s anxiety presents.

“He’s just mentally and physically exhausted by this, which is what happens with anxiety and you don’t sleep, you don’t eat, don’t have any stamina,” Patrick’s mother shared. “And then the other part of it is just the physical. He has no adrenaline. So by the time he gets to game time, he feels like he’s already run a marathon.”

Patrick’s brother Connor said he’s noticed a difference in Patrick’s stamina and energy as of late. It’s presented itself in alarming ways.

“He throws up,” Connor shared. “He’ll get really nauseous and throw up all the time and so there’s never anything in his body.”

The press release wasn’t news to Patrick’s family. But it was for the general public — and his roommate.

“I didn’t even know that he’s dealing with it and I live with him,” Iowa forward Filip Rebraca said. “But, it’s something I admire. It’s very courageous. People go through things like this you don’t even know. I’m always going to be here for him and whatever he needs. I think the whole team is going to step up and be there for Patrick.”

Fran McCaffery revealed Patrick will still remain with the team, and will even be on the bench for Thursday’s game against Indiana. As for how the Hawkeyes will handle Patrick’s absence on the court, his brother Connor will take his spot in the starting lineup.

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