Burnley grant Lyle Foster leave to look after his mental health

Burnley grant Lyle Foster an extended leave of absence with the Clarets top scorer visiting specialists to look after his mental health

  • Lyle Foster has said he has dealt with depression and anxiety in the past 
  • Burnley said he is being given specialist support to help him back to full health
  • Chris Sutton: ‘How my son nearly died’ – Listen to It’s All Kicking Off podcast

Burnley have given striker Lyle Foster an extended leave of absence to look after his mental health.

The 23-year-old, who is the club’s top scorer this season, has missed their last three Premier League games and is visiting specialists to overcome his illness.

Foster signed for the Clarets in January from Belgian side Westerlo and has impressed despite Burnley’s tough return to the top flight.

The South Africa international has said he has dealt with depression and anxiety in the past.

‘Recently, Lyle let us know that he continues to live with issues around his mental well-being and has reached out for help,’ a Burnley statement read.

Burnley have given Lyle Foster an extended leave of absence to look after his mental health

Foster is Burnley’s top scorer this season and has impressed despite their tough start

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‘He is currently in the care of specialists – giving him the support and care he needs to help him back to full health.

‘With the love and support of his family and everyone at Burnley, we will do all we can to provide everything he needs to get better.

‘We ask for your understanding and request Lyle’s privacy around this matter and will not be making any more comment until further notice.’

Foster opened up on depression in an interview with a radio station in South Africa earlier in the year.

‘I was in Belgium and I went back for pre-season and I just wasn’t feeling okay,’ he said.

‘Some things started to creep in and I realised it was spiralling downward. I had severe depression and anxiety at the time and it was very difficult to cope with where I was in terms of performing and focusing on my reality.

‘I was in my apartment all by myself. I just 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.

The South Africa striker earlier this year opened up on depression during his time at Westerlo 

‘I just used to try and go to training, play games and honestly the best thing to do at that time of my life was to go back home and sleep. There was no real excitement or looking forward to anything.

‘That’s when I realised I’m in some trouble and I panicked a little bit. I didn’t know what was going on or how to deal with it because it was the first time I was in a position like that.’

Foster added: ‘I couldn’t be bothered to do things that I enjoyed. I didn’t enjoy them because of the thoughts I was having and the voices, which was really difficult to deal with.

‘It was difficult to get up and go and train, difficult to do anything really.

‘I spoke to my parents and my agent as well, I told them I don’t feel good and I don’t feel strong or powerful. I opened up to them but I was just clouded by the darkness. It was a super difficult period.

‘I had the support of my old club Westerlo who really went out on a limb to help me. But I’m in the light now, I see the light.’


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