Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews hasn't played in over a year after suffering from chronic immune response syndrome. However, the good news is that he's been seen at the team practice facility recently getting in some light workouts.
He shed some additional light on the situation in a recent video message posted to the team Twitter account.
"I just think there's a lot of things that just kind of piled up where my body just fell apart," he said. "So what they're calling it was chronic immune response syndrome, where I just couldn't quite recover and my immune system was reacting to everything that I did," Toews explained. "Any kind of stress, anything that I would do throughout the day, there was always kind of that stress response. So it took some time, and that was the frustrating part was not really knowing when or how we were gonna get over the hump.
"But thankfully I've got a great support team of people that helped me through it, and learned a lot about just the stress I've put on my body over the years."
According to Ben Pope, who covers the Blackhawks for The Chicago Sun-Times, don't be surprised to see the likes of Dylan Strome dealt should the 33 year old Blackhawks captain return to the ice.
"With center Jonathan Toews likely returning that could make forward Dylan Strome expendable. If Toews does not start the season with the Blackhawks the odds of a Strome trade decrease with each day. If Toews isn't ready in September or October, Strome might get another opportunity as the second-line center. If Toews is ready, Strome will likely be traded."
Strome was drafted third overall by the Arizona Coyotes in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. It wouldn't be long before he was dealt to the Blackhawks (along with Brendan Perlini) in exchange for Nick Schmaltz in 2018. He'd finish the season with 17 goals and 34 assists for the Blackhawks, who signed him to a two-year contract extension worth $6 million this past January.
In 40 games played during the shortened 2020-21 NHL Season, Strome scored eight goals to go with nine assists, along with 14 PIM.