Fred Sasakamoose, one of NHL's first Indigenous players, "presumed" COVID-19 positive

Fred Sasakamoose, one of the first Indigenous athletes to play in the National Hockey League, has been hospitalized over a presumed positive COVID-19 test.

Sasakamoose's condition was first revealed through a Facebook post on his official page Friday.

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Fred's son, Neil, later announced through a video on Facebook Saturday that his father had been admitted to hospital after feeling shortness of breath and wheezing.

Neil and his mother were first told that Fred tested positive for COVID-19, but were later notified that he was being treated as a "presumed" positive COVID-19 case and is currently in a local hospital's isolation unit. Neil also said that Fred's caretaker had tested positive for the virus.

A photo of Fred alongside a nurse was later posted to his page Saturday evening saying that Fred is "fighting".

Sasakamoose played 11 games in the National Hockey League in Chicago during the 1953-54 season, splitting time with the Moose Jaw Canucks of the Western Canadian Junior Hockey League.

The 'Hawks posted on Twitter, and in the comments of Neil's statement, that they are keeping Fred in their "thoughts and prayers".

The Saskatchewan native was named to the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame in 2007. Sasakamoose was later named to the Order of Canada in 2017.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 21, 2020.

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