What happened to Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews? Read here

DAVIDSON ON TOEWS

In a statement released by the Blackhawks prior to Sunday’s game, captain Jonathan Toews gave an update on his health, saying that the reason for his recent absence is that he “is currently struggling with the symptoms of Chronic COVID and Chronic Immune Response Syndrome.”

Jonathan Toews Health Update

Here is the complete statement:

“First of all, thank you to the fans and all those who have shown concern about my absence,” wrote Toews, who missed the entire 2020-21 season with the illness. “I’m still dealing with the symptoms of Long COVID and Chronic Immune Response Syndrome.

“It has been really challenging to play through these symptoms. In the last few weeks, it has reached the point where I had no choice but to step back and concentrate on getting healthy. I am thankful for the patience and support of my teammates, the coaching staff, and the entire Blackhawks organization.”

As a result, the Blackhawks are not expected to move Toews ahead of the March 3 trade deadline. It was reportedly a joint decision between the player and the team.

“We’re not thinking about that,” Blackhawks GM Kyle Davidson said. “We’re trying to help him to get back to full strength, and that’s totally secondary.”

Before the NHL All-Star break, on January 28, Toews last participated in a game. He was missing for a game after returning from what the team described as a “non-COVID ailment” that caused him to miss the second-to-last match.

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Toews’ comeback this season is not a given, but Davidson appeared optimistic that it will happen eventually.

“We know that this has been a really difficult period for him,” GM Kyle Davidson said. “(We) support him in whatever he needs to make sure he’s feeling good and feeling strong. The hope is he can still play some games down the stretch.”

This diagnosis all but takes Toews off the trade market. The hope now, obviously, is he makes a full and complete recovery and that these symptoms don’t crop up again”.

Throughout the first 19 games of this season, Toews averaged roughly 17.5 minutes on the ice while scoring 8 goals and dishing out 5 assists. In his past 27 games, his ice time increased, but he only scored 6 goals and had 9 assists.

“He was just at times … feeling some fatigue and soreness and battling through it at the beginning of the year,” coach Luke Richardson said. “It just got to the point where he felt like it was too much and affecting him physically.”

Toews only missed one other game this season due to illness: on December 6 against New Jersey. Toews was dissatisfied with the team’s decision to bench him at the last minute.

“He was not happy with me,” Richardson said. “He’s a competitor and he (was) not happy with us. That’s why it’s taken this long for him, struggling with trying to figure out why he’s not feeling the way he wants to feel.

“I think it was just affecting him, not just on the ice but probably just personally. He’s at a point where he’s just trying to figure out what can help him get better.”

The Hawks must continue playing without their captain with the trade deadline of March 3 fast approaching.

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