GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A Michigan hockey player placed in intensive care last week by a serious viral infection is now out of the hospital.
Interim head coach Brandon Naurato announced Tuesday on the Inside Michigan Hockey radio show that Steven Holtz is out of the hospital. Holtz reportedly visited with the team during practice on Tuesday.
“Holtzy stopped by the rink today, so it was awesome to see him and see that he’s doing better. He’s still got a little bit of a road to recovery, but he was smiling and talking, and it was super positive for him to be around the boys,” Naurato said.
A spokesperson with the University of Michigan Athletic Department couldn’t provide specific details about the illness because of privacy laws. However, a campus-wide email sent by the university last week mentioned an outbreak of adenovirus.
Whether adenovirus is what hit the hockey team is unclear, but an illness has forced several players to miss games over the last three weeks. Starting goaltender Rick Portillo and freshman phenom Adam Fantilli, who leads the team in points and is expected to be a top-five pick in the upcoming NHL draft, have also missed time.
Holtz was the only one who had to be admitted to a hospital because of the virus. His mother, Sylvia Jacobs-Holtz, announced last week that he was placed on a ventilator during his ICU stay.
Holtz hasn’t played since the Wolverines’ series at Penn State on Nov. 4 and Nov. 5. The Wolverines were ranked No. 1 in the country heading into that series before they were hit with a wave of illness. Michigan has gone 2-4 in their last six games while playing shorthanded.
“Everyone else is slowly getting there. A couple of guys are still coming out of the sickness, so still light numbers at practice, but overall, much, much better than last week,” Naurato said.
The No. 5 Wolverines return to action this weekend, hosting No. 9 Harvard at Yost Ice Arena.