Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews takes next step, begins skating

·2 min read

Hawks' Jonathan Toews takes next step, begins skating originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews took the next step in his recovery process and has begun skating, head coach Luke Richardson confirmed on Sunday.

Toews skated "on and off" while the team was on their season-long five-game road trip, and was also on the ice on Saturday and Sunday. Certainly a positive development.

"Today, he seemed good and felt good, so hopefully that can progress into joining the team," Richardson said. "I think just by his mannerism today, that, to me, is a good sign, because I know he can get frustrated and, as you guys know from the past, he gets pretty direct. Today he was good.

"He was in there stretching, he was in there relaxing, talking to Andrew Shaw and a few old guys here for the weekend. So, real good mindset right now."

Toews has been out since Jan. 28, announcing in February that he's "still dealing with the symptoms of Long COVID and Chronic Immune Response Syndrome."

There doesn't appear to be a timeline for Toews' potential return to the lineup, but Richardson is hoping he can join the team for practice "at some point" this week.

"No, not yet but to me, this has been the best scenario I’ve seen since him coming back, where he’s feeling better and hopefully that translates to getting on the ice with the team," Richardson said. "Unfortunately we don’t practice tomorrow or later in the week. Might be more toward the end of the week but we’ll see where he’s at. Maybe he even gets out for a morning skate soon."

After Sunday's game against Vancouver, the Blackhawks will be in the single digits of games remaining this season with nine. That means Toews is running out of runway if he wants to put on a Blackhawks sweater again before going into an uncertain offseason regarding his future.

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