Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews is not expected to be moved ahead of the March 3 trade deadline as he deals with symptoms from Long COVID and Chronic Immune Response Syndrome.
On Sunday, Toews released this statement regarding his health:
"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."
Blackhawks GM Kyle Davidson said they're going to take it day by day with Toews, and they're not thinking about how this impacts his future less than two weeks before the trade deadline.
"We’re trying to help him to get back to full strength, and that’s totally secondary," Davidson said.
Toews hasn't played since Jan. 28, which was before the NHL All-Star break. He missed the second-to-last game with what the team called non-COVID illness, returned for one game and has been out ever since.
It's no guarantee that Toews will return this season, but Davidson seemed hopeful that he would at some point.
"We know this has been a real difficult period for him," Davidson said. "We miss him being around the team and we want to get him back around the team and on the ice. But in the meantime, we’re going to work with him and support him in whatever he needs to make sure he’s feeling good and feeling strong and in a spot where he can come back on the ice.
"It’s frustrating. He wants to compete. He wants his body to respond effectively and the way he wishes it would. Couple chats with him, he’s in good spirits but frustrated. That’s understandable not being able to go out there and compete every day."
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