St. Louis Cardinals' Albert Pujols and Wife Deidre Divorcing, Split News Follows Her Brain Surgery

Albert Pujols and wife Deidre Pujols
Albert Pujols and wife Deidre Pujols

Michael Loccisano/Getty

Albert Pujols and his wife of 22 years, Deidre Pujols, have split, he confirmed in a statement on Monday. The news comes just after she underwent surgery to remove a brain tumor last week.

The St. Louis Cardinals player, 42, said he received "a lot of questions over the past few days regarding what's been going on at home" in a statement released by his agent, Dan Lozano, and obtained by MLB Network insider Mark Feinsand.

Representatives for Pujols did not immediately return PEOPLE's request for comment.

"Sadly, after 22 years of marriage, I have made the decision to file for divorce from my wife, Deidre," he said.

"I realize this is not the most opportune time with Opening Day approaching and other family events that have recently taken place," he continued. "These situations are never easy and isn't something that just happened overnight."

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Pujols said in the statement that he had prayed "for many long days and nights" about the end of his marriage.

"As a devout Christian, this is an outcome that I never wanted to see happen," he said.

The couple has been married since 2002 and shares five children — Sophia, Ezra, Esther Grace, Isabella, and Albert Jr.

"I am thankful for the five beautiful children that we brought into this world and remain committed to raising them in a loving and safe environment," Pujols concluded his statement. "I ask that you please respect our privacy and the privacy of our five children during this time."

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Last Sunday, Deidre posted a scan of her brain after her operation on Instagram.

"The fact that they can open my head and get out the bad stuff and put it all back together blows my mind," she shared. "I am grateful for Dr Louis and the whole Hoag Hospital staff who saved my life and cared for me after such a major surgery."

She added, "I plan to continue to get strong and continue to live my life's mission out fully! Thank you to all who prayed and loved me through this."

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Last week, Pujols signed a one-year, $2.5 million deal to return to the Cardinals where he played his first 11 seasons in the league.