CHICAGO — Chicago Blackhawks forward Jonathan Toews issued a statement Sunday addressing his extended absence from the team from what was previously listed as a non-COVID illness.

“First of all, thank you to the fans and all those who have shown concern about my absence. I’m still dealing with the symptoms of Long COVID and Chronic Immune Response Syndrome,” reads Toews’s statement. “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.”

According to Frank Seravalli of the Daily Faceoff, Toews will not be moved by Chicago before the trade deadline and will likely remain sidelined due to recovery from his latest illness until March.

Toews last played on Jan. 28 against the Edmonton Oilers and will miss his seventh consecutive game Sunday when the Blackhawks take on the Toronto Maple Leafs at 5 p.m. in Chicago, as Chicago’s team captain remains on injured reserve.

The Blackhawks currently sit at 17-32 with 39 total points in the NHL standings, putting them dead last in the central, as well as the entire NHL.