"I don't know what is going on with Michael, but I know he deals with some anxiety and depression, and my thought is, 'I sure hope he's OK,'" Cooper said Saturday, according to Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times. "And I hope he gets to where he needs to be, where he's feeling good and wants to come back, because we will welcome him back with open arms."
Cooper said Kopech hasn't spoken to his teammates about the decision.
"Last time I saw him in spring training, he was in a great place," he said. "But let me put it this way: I sure hope the kid is OK. I'm concerned that he's not OK."
Cooper said Kopech talked about being in a good place with regard to his anxiety and depression issues during the winter and early spring. Cooper also said he's not aware of the 24-year-old choosing to sit out because of injury concerns after undergoing Tommy John surgery in September 2018.
"I have not heard anything about that," Cooper said. "I got nothing to say about that because 'it's been reported.' I want to hear it from Michael's mouth; I don't want to hear it from Michael's camp."
White Sox management has said it will allow Kopech to explain why he opted out and won't elaborate beyond general manager Rick Hahn's original statement, according to Van Schouwen.
"We recognize that reaching this decision is incredibly difficult for any competitive athlete, and our organization is understanding and supportive," Hahn said Friday.