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Jonathan Toews update: Stan Bowman says Blackhawks captain ‘seems in good spirits’

The Blackhawks’ GM did not speculate about a potential return. “We want him to be feeling great ... to be back to himself. I don’t think he’s quite there yet, but hopefully he will be soon.”

Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews (19) has not played this season because of an undisclosed medical condition. The team is hopeful he will return, but has not speculated when that might be.
Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews (19) has not played this season because of an undisclosed medical condition. The team is hopeful he will return, but has not speculated when that might be.
Ann Heisenfelt/AP Photos

Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman said center Jonathan Toews “is not really ready to play hockey” but “seems in good spirits” and is hopeful that Toews will be “back to himself” soon.

Speaking on a live edition of the team’s podcast via Zoom with Adam Burish and Carter Baum, Bowman did not address Toews’ return to the team. The longtime Hawks captain has not played this season after the team announced he was “experiencing symptoms” that left him “drained and lethargic.” Toews has not spoken publicly about his ailment.

The podcast featured questions from fans, and the most frequently asked question was about Toews’ health, Baum said.

“I have corresponded with Jonathan on a couple of occasions . . . to make sure he knows we’re thinking of him, but also not to bother him too much,” Bowman said. “He’s been great about getting back to me and staying in touch.

“I think he’s been following our team closely. I don’t have much of an update . . . obviously he’s not back with us, so he’s not really ready to play hockey. But he seems in good spirits, and I know he’s liking watching the team and the way that we’ve [started] the season.

“For the most part, it’s been all positives from that.”

Toews and the Hawks announced Dec. 29 that the star was experiencing those symptoms. Bowman has since clarified that those symptoms had been present for months, potentially as far back as the August 2020 playoffs.

“I’m in the same category as everyone — we want him to be feeling great, not only to help our team but to be back to himself,” Bowman said. “And I don’t think he’s quite there yet, but hopefully he will be soon.”

Toews made his first public appearance since last season March 9, albeit not live or in person.

The Hawks posted a 24-second video Toews took of himself congratulating longtime teammate Patrick Kane on his 1,000th career NHL game, one of numerous videos recorded by various hockey greats congratulating Kane.

“You’ve hit a few milestones lately, but this is a big one,” Toews said in the video. “Wish I was there to celebrate with you. See you soon, man.”