Burnley striker Lyle Foster has announced that he will be taking a break from football due to mental health reasons.
The 20-year-old has been struggling with his mental health for some time, and had previously opened up on his battle with mental health, speaking about his time at Belgian side Westerlo.
I was in my apartment all by myself. I realised I just felt this huge sense of loneliness.
I felt like I couldn't really express myself with all of my teammates. It was a lot more difficult to be around them and do things footballers are supposed to do.
And Foster has now decided to take some time away from the pitch for an indefinite period to focus on his recovery.
In a statement released on Burnley's website, Foster said:
After much thought and consideration, I have decided to take a break from football due to mental health reasons. This has not been an easy decision, but I feel it is the right one for me at this time.
I want to thank Burnley Football Club for their understanding and support during this difficult period. I would also like to thank my family, friends, and agent for their love and support.
I am committed to getting back to full fitness and playing football again as soon as possible. However, I need to take some time for myself to focus on my mental health and well-being.
I appreciate everyone's understanding and support during this time.
Burnley manager Vincent Kompany have also supported Foster's decision.
We are wishing him a speedy recovery and wishing him to be in a better place by the time he is ready to come back to us.
We were very fortunate that Lyle had been very open with us. From the moment he'd been open with us we were able to act.
As soon as he said it and showed signs of how severe it was for him, straight away the entire support team within the club mobilised and we made sure he could focus on his own recovery.
In moments like this you have to put the human first and that's what we did.
Foster's decision to take a break from football is a brave one, and it is important for athletes to be open about their mental health struggles.