Nobody in the sports world has heard much of anything from Barry Zito since last September. That’s when Zito, a three-time All-Star, the 2002 American League Cy Young and a World Series champion, decided to take a leave of absence from baseball.

Zito was coming off arguably the worst season of his career; he finished 2013 with a 5-11 record and 5.74 ERA with the San Francisco Giants. That 2013 campaign came off something of a resurgence for Zito in 2012, when the southpaw finished 15-8 – his first season with a winning record since 2006 – and a 4.15 ERA.

Recently, Zito spoke with Bob Roth, the host of Success Without Stress on SiriusXM Indie. The full interview airs Friday at 7 pm ET on channel 102.

Below, find a preview of Roth’s conversation with Zito, where Zito addresses the reason for his absence, and his plans to return to the mound.

What happened last year was really difficult for me on a lot of fronts. I lost my father over the summer, and we were just having a tough time with my pitching and my delivery, and things were just out of sync; and I think had been getting out of sync slowly for years. So I made the internal decision last August that I wanted to take a full year off of baseball. And so many guys are forced either to go ahead and go into retirement, maybe because their ego doesn’t want to let them end up getting released; you know, they don’t want the game to shut the door, so they go, “Well, I’m gonna shut the door on the game.” And most of these guys regret it six months later after they’ve had a little break. So I didn’t want that paradigm, and I certainly didn’t want to go back to spring training because I just wasn’t ready to go back to baseball yet.

So I’ve been having a great time. I moved to San Diego from Los Angeles, my wife and I just had a baby … I’ve just been pitching, and working out, and throwing, and tweaking some things I’ve wanted to tweak for years and years. In baseball, you get about two or three months to make changes after any season, and I wanted a whole 12 months.

So it’s just been awesome, and I plan on going back to spring training in February.

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