Austin Meadows

On Friday afternoon, fans at Comerica Park were treated to a familiar sight: Tigers outfielder Austin Meadows practicing running and agility drills on the field before the rest of the club comes to begin his rehabilitation from Achilles concerns. However, until later on Friday, he showed the mental challenges of a trying season, which had been nearly unnoticeable.

According to a statement posted to social media, Meadows wrote, “What I have told very few people is that I have also been battling with my mental health in a way that has extended my time away from the game that I love so much.” I’ve been working on this privately with a fantastic group of experts, but I need to keep putting in the hours away from the field to get to a place where I can say that my mind is healthy.

Although I have been back in the clubhouse for the past few weeks and intend to stick there until the season is over, I am not yet physically prepared to return to the field. Thanks to my loved ones, my team, and the Tigers organization, I was able to pull through this. I know I can’t solve my problems by myself, and I’m writing this in the hopes that my story will inspire someone else going through a tough time to ask for assistance.

As he recovers from Achilles troubles, Tigers outfielder Austin Meadows has been working out daily before the rest of the club gets to Comerica Park, so on Friday afternoon, he was once again seen doing running and agility drills on the field. On Friday night, he finally opened up about the mental toll that a trying season had taken on him.

In a statement shared on social media, Meadows explained, “What I have told very few people is that I have also been battling with my mental health in a way that has extended my time away from the game that I love so much.” I’ve been working on this in private with a fantastic group of experts, but I still need to put in the hours away from the field to get back to a place where my mind is healthy.

I’ve been back in the locker room for a few weeks and will be around for the rest of the season, but I’m not quite ready to play again just yet. To my loved ones, my teammates, and the Tigers organization, I owe an enormous debt of gratitude for their unwavering encouragement and love. I know I can’t solve my problems on my alone, and I’m writing this in the hopes that my story will inspire at least one person going through a tough time to call out for assistance.

After Meadows became ill with something other than COVID in the middle of May, he went through a pattern of stopping and starting that ultimately ended his season. He was placed on the injured list on May 16 due to vertigo, came back for a week at the beginning of June, and then was placed on the COVID-19 injury list on June 17. Both of his Achilles’ tendons flared up during his rehab assignment at Triple-A Toledo in early July, forcing him to spend some time on the usual disabled list.

I have been in constant communication with him. It’s fairly obvious that he’s had a hard year,” Parker Meadows remarked earlier this month. To paraphrase, “I know everyone wants him to be out there and I know he wants to be out there. Obviously, he’s had a rough go of it.

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From August 10-14, Meadows participated in four rehab games with Toledo before heading back to Detroit for further assessment. The Tigers said at the time that he wasn’t physically prepared to play in games. His hardships extended beyond his physical health, which was a secret.

“He’s told me and a couple of other people things,” Hinch added. “As he has worked through these issues, he has kept this information to himself. His bodily problems were quite serious, and he had to deal with them frequently. It was the first time he had ever spoken to me directly about it before his last game, while he was in rehabilitation. If Meadows had chosen to reveal this information to the public, it would have been his decision to make.

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Hinch exclaimed, “I’m so very proud of him, words fail me.” “Perhaps there’s a young person, a teammate, an ex-teammate, or someone else in the league who’s having trouble and isn’t sure if they should reach out for help or if they should just keep struggling. Austin has decided to take charge of his recovery by assisting others while he works on himself.

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