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Jonathan Toews explains absence, plans to play next season

Jonathan Toews

EDMONTON, ALBERTA - AUGUST 05: Jonathan Toews #19 of the Chicago Blackhawks warms up before Game Three of the Western Conference Qualification Round against the Edmonton Oilers at Rogers Place on August 05, 2020 in Edmonton, Alberta. (Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images)

NHLI via Getty Images

Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews missed the entire 2020-21 season due to an undisclosed medical issue. The unknown nature of his absence caused a lot of concern and speculation, given how unexpected it was and that it kept him off the ice for so long.

On Wednesday, Toews revealed what exactly that issue was by announcing he was dealing with Chronic Immune Response Syndrome.

Toews made the announcement in a video posted to social media as he highlighted what the past year has been like for him, and how is body just kind of “falling apart” after years of putting stress on his body.

“I just think there’s a lot of things that just piled up where my body just fell apart,” he said. “So what they’re calling it is chronic immune response syndrome where my body just couldn’t quite recover and my immune system was reacting to everything that I did — any kind of stress, anything that I would do throughout the day, was always kind of a stress response.”

You can hear Toews’ full explanation here:

Toews is back skating in Chicago and is working his way towards playing during the 2021-22 NHL season.

When he last played during in 2019-20, he appeared in 70 games, scoring 18 goals to go with 60 total points.

Toews has been one of the faces of the Chicago organization for the past 14 years and has captained the team to three championships during his career.