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'She needed me there' | Adam Wainwright talks about leaving Cardinals for a week to help family with COVID

"I had to make sure that they were good and that I was being a good dad and husband before I was being a good baseball player."

ST. LOUIS — When Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright went on the COVID-19 IL on April 29, many fans were probably left puzzled.

5 On Your Side's Frank Cusumano reported early that is was a contact-tracing-related issue. Now we know it was also Wainwright being a good dad and husband.

After his start against the Mets on Monday night, Wainwright revealed that his week-long absence from the team was so that he could go home to take care of his wife and five children, who all had COVID-19.

"There was a time this last week where I got back from the road and I went straight to a hotel because my whole crew had it. And my wife texted me and said, 'I can't go anymore without you being here'. That's why I had to go home," Wainwright said. "And when my wife says, that... she's a really tough lady, and when she said that I knew I had to go home. And she needed me there. I was glad I got to help out. I miss her. She's an incredible woman, an incredible person, an incredible wife, an incredible mom and you don't really realize how much they do until you've got to fill that void, and what a blessing she is to me."

Wainwright spent the past week at home helping take care of his wife and his children. He said he gained an even greater appreciation for what moms do.

"This goes out to all the mothers out there. Because, wow. Especially when you have as many kids as I do, she does so much. And you know that, but you don't know it until you've gotta do all the stuff," Wainwright said.

Thankfully, the Wainwright clan is doing well now, even though Adam said his wife had a bit of a rough time with the virus.

"My kids are resilient. All five of my kids got it. And my wife got it. All five kids barely felt a thing. They were like, 'What's this whole COVID thing about?' But my wife took it real hard, so I'm glad I got to be home with her," Wainwright said. "It worked out well that it happened the day after I pitched last time, so I got to spend this whole last week with her. She's finally turned the corner and we're moving forward. She's feeling better now."

Wainwright did disclose that he had been vaccinated prior to going home to be with his family, and that MLB protocols in place allowed him to do so. If he hadn't been vaccinated, Wainwright would have likely missed a considerably greater chunk of time than just having one start bumped back a few days.

"I'm also really glad I got the vaccine otherwise I would've had to make a choice. I'm either going home, which I would have done, and probably miss the minimum two weeks, probably three or four... or now I can go home and help be a dad," Wainwright said. "This whole thing been a great reminder that baseball is great, I love being with my teammates, those guys are amazing and part of my family, but my family at home is number one. And I had to make sure that they were good and that I was being a good dad and husband before I was being a good baseball player."

You can watch the entire interview with Wainwright on our YouTube page here.

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