(CNN)Saying he might have made a rash decision, Atlanta Braves outfielder Nick Markakis said Wednesday he is opting back into the Major League Baseball season three weeks after he opted out.
Nick Markakis of the Braves opts back in to MLB season
"Sometimes in life you make rash decisions without thinking things through. At the time I thought it was the right decision, and it still could be the right decision, but I'm going against my decision," Markakis said from the Braves stadium.
The veteran right fielder was placed on the restricted list July 7 after he talked to a teammate who was infected with Covid-19 at the time, prompting Markakis to decide to stay home for the year with his family.
That teammate, first baseman Freddie Freeman, rejoined the team and has been a part of the Braves 2-3 start.
"Sitting at home, watching these guys compete the last couple of days and all the risks they're going through going out there, in a way deep down in the pit of my stomach I felt I needed to be out there," he said.
His return comes as MLB has paused the Miami Marlins season due to a Covid-19 outbreak.
This is the 15th season for Markakis, 36, who had one of the beast seasons of his career in 2018 when he was an All-Star, won a Silver Slugger and a Gold Glove award. When Markakis announced he was opting out, Braves Manager Brian Snitker called him "one of the backbones of our club."
Markakis said his family helped him make the decision to return.
"I know my wife and my (three) kids wanted me out here more than anything," he said. "I know there's challenging times out there right now ... but those guys are out there taking risks every day just like the rest of baseball and deep down it didn't sit well with me and here I am now."
The Braves, one of the second favorites to win the National League, were playing their home opener Wednesday.
It is unclear when Markakis will rejoin the team. Markakis told reporters that he has been working out. He went to the Braves' alternate training site to work out Wednesday.