Iowa’s Patrick McCaffery takes time off to deal with his anxiety

IOWA CITY, Iowa — Iowa’s Patrick McCaffery will take indefinite leave to address a mental health issue, the athletic department announced Tuesday.

McCaffery, son of head coach Fran McCaffery, said in a statement that he struggled with anxiety and it had reached the point where it inhibited his preparation and performance.

“It’s not fair for me or my teammates to be on the pitch when I’m not myself,” he said. “Anxiety affected my sleep, appetite and stamina, which kept me from having the energy level needed to compete at full capacity.”

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

“It might be two games, it might be four games, it might be more, but I’ll be back when I feel better,” the fourth-year forward said.

Patrick McCaffery
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McCaffery said the furlough was unrelated to his past battle with cancer. He was 13 when he was treated for thyroid cancer. He underwent two surgeries and was declared cancer-free three months after his diagnosis.

McCaffery said in an interview last month that having his thyroid removed caused metabolic changes that required him to pay close attention to his nutrition and sleep patterns.

Fran McCaffery said the effects of her son’s anxiety have become more noticeable on and off the pitch over the past two weeks.

“We all admire his courage and willingness to be open about this fight 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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