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Tigers’ Austin Meadows says mental health struggles have kept him off field

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Injuries, COVID, and rehabbing from said injuries have kept Detroit Tigers' Austin Meadows off the field for most of the season.

But on Friday, he opened up about one more reason that's kept him from playing.

The outfielder tweeted on Friday that he has been struggling with his mental health.

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Austin Meadows #17 of the Detroit Tigers bats against the Toronto Blue Jays at Comerica Park on June 11, 2022, in Detroit, Michigan. 
(Duane Burleson/Getty Images)

“This season has been an unfortunate struggle with a series of injuries and illness … What I have told very few people is that I also have been struggling with my mental health in a way that has extended my time away from the game that I love so much,” Meadows said in his first tweet since Feb. 13, 2021. 

“I've been dealing with this privately with a great team of professionals, but I need to continue to put in the hard work off the field towards feeling mentally healthy.”

Austin Meadows #17 of the Detroit Tigers looks on against the Minnesota Twins before the start of the first inning of the game at Target Field on April 26, 2022 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Twins defeated the Tigers 5-4.

Austin Meadows #17 of the Detroit Tigers looks on against the Minnesota Twins before the start of the first inning of the game at Target Field on April 26, 2022 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Twins defeated the Tigers 5-4.
(David Berding/Getty Images)

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The former Tampa Bay Ray and Pittsburgh Pirate said that he is with the Tigers in the clubhouse and plans to be through the end of the season, but he is unsure when he'll return to playing.

“I am still not ready to return to the field,” he said.

Considering he hadn't tweeted in over a year and a half, it was an important message, and he hopes that opening up about his struggles can help others in similar situations.

“I am so grateful for my family, my teammates, and the Tigers organization for supporting me through this,” he said. “I can't do this alone, and I hope in sharing my experience I can touch at least one person who might be going through their own struggles and encourage them to reach out to someone for help.”

Austin Meadows #17 of the Detroit Tigers bats during the game against the Chicago White Sox at Comerica Park on April 9, 2022 in Detroit, Michigan. The White Sox defeated the Tigers 5-2. 

Austin Meadows #17 of the Detroit Tigers bats during the game against the Chicago White Sox at Comerica Park on April 9, 2022 in Detroit, Michigan. The White Sox defeated the Tigers 5-2. 
(Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

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Meadows has also missed time due to vertigo and an Achilles injury – he has not played since June 15.

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