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Steven Holtz, Michigan hockey team is doing better after suspected virus outbreak


ANN ARBOR, Michigan — Michigan hockey player Steven Holtz is “doing better” and is recovering from an illness that landed him in the hospital, UM coach Brandon Naurato said this week.

Speaking Tuesday on the “Inside Michigan Hockey” radio show, Naurato said Holtz — who was hospitalized in an intensive care unit last week, according to a family member’s social media post — had visited Yost Ice Arena’s team.

“Holtzy stopped by the rink today,” Naurato said. “It was great to see him and to see him doing better. He still has a little road to recovery, but he’s smiling and talking and super positive to be around the guys.”

Holtz was one of several Wolverines to miss last weekend’s series opener against Minnesota with illness — likely adenovirus, according to a spokesman. Last Thursday’s full list of illness-related absences was: defenseman Brendan Miles, forward TJ Hughes, defenseman Jacob Truscott, defenseman Steven Holtz, forward Nolan Moyle and forward Adam Fantilli.

According to Naurato, some players are still out, but as a whole, the health of the team is improving.

“Everyone else is slowly coming along,” Naurato said. “A few guys are still coming out of the disease, so still light numbers in training. But overall much better than last week. It’s been a crazy week.”

The UM has been dealing with illness for some time now. Goaltender Erik Portillo missed a series against Penn State in early November, and several teammates, including Holtz, had been knocked out against Notre Dame two weekends ago.

According to Connor Earegood of The Michigan Daily, the Wolverines did not train last Tuesday, likely due to the breakout among the team. Against Minnesota last Thursday, two Wolverines made their collegiate debuts, including third-string netminder Tyler Shea – who dressed as a forward.

The program has largely declined to provide details about the virus outbreak, citing health privacy laws. In a post-game conversation with The Michigan Insider and other outlets, Naurato alluded to the difficulties of running a program through a crisis.

“Without going into details, the first call I got, I hope never to get again,” he said last Thursday.

“I’ll say one thing: Brian Brewster, Darryl Conway. The Michigan Medical Team, Michigan Hospital. I can’t imagine this was a junior or minor pro team without the resources we have in Michigan. Therefore they are the leaders and the best. Everyone has come together and done a fantastic job taking care of these children.”

Michigan hockey returns to the ice on November 25 against Harvard at Yost Ice Arena.


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