Detroit Red Wings forward Darren McCarty issued a statment Friday apologizing for his absence from his annual charity golf tournament, citing his long-running battle with substance abuse.
"For the past seven years, I have actively fought a substance abuse issue," McCarty said in a statement on the TSN web site. "While most people do not recognize that this personal challenge exists on a day-to-day basis, it is an ongoing concern I will carry for the rest of my entire life.
"This offseason, it became apparent to me that my efforts required additional attention," he said. "I wanted to address the issue before the upcoming season and voluntarily began a maintenance program three weeks ago."
McCarty's battle with alcoholism is no secret. He discussed his efforts against the disease in the book Rinkside: A Family's Story of Courage & Inspiration, written by his late father, Craig McCarty.
McCarty signed a four-year contract with the Red Wings in July. He has spent his entire pro career with the Detroit organization.