Earlier today, Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews released a statement regarding his absence over the last year.
Toews states that he has been dealing with Chronic Immune Response Syndrome. After a quick Google search, this disease is difficult to find much information about. What does come up in searches is Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome.
In summary, this disease is a progressive disorder that affects multiple bodily systems that is caused by exposure to biotoxins. It appears that the diagnosis of CIRS is often misinterpreted as general depression, anxiety, and PTSD. This could explain why Toews was absent for so long and silent as well.
In the video, Toews mentions the stress he put on his body over the years, and how his body would react to every little bit of stress in his daily life. Based on the captain's words, it sounds like the 2021 season was a time for him to learn how to handle said stress so he could overcome his body's reactions.
Jonathan Toews also states in the video that he will indeed be returning to the Blackhawks in 2021-22. His absence has been quite noteworthy for the Blackhawks as they missed the playoffs in the 2021 season.