CHICAGO — Lawyers for former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert asked a federal judge Friday to delay sentencing in his hush-money case because of his recent hospitalization for a stroke, as well as for spinal and blood infections – saying he has difficulty walking and will require at least several weeks of rehabilitation.

The Illinois Republican, who turned 74 this month, has been unable to prepare with his lawyers for his Feb. 29 sentencing because of his lingering health issues, according to his attorneys’ three-page filing in U.S. District Court in Chicago.

Hastert was accused in May of evading banking regulations as part of a plan to pay $3.5 million in hush money to conceal “prior misconduct.” The Associated Press and other media outlets, citing anonymous sources, have reported that Hastert wanted to hide claims that he sexually molested someone decades earlier.

The motion requesting the delay says Hastert was admitted to the hospital in the first week of November – just several days after he pleaded guilty to a felony count of evading bank reporting laws – and wasn’t released until Jan. 15. It adds that Hastert needs up to six weeks of in-home care that will likely be followed by outpatient physical therapy.

“Mr. Hastert continues to need assistance for most daily activities, and also needs both a walker and a leg brace to walk in his household,” the filing says. “He will also need close follow up with several specialists during this process.”

“When home care is complete,” the filing goes on to say, “Mr. Hastert will likely be recommended for outpatient physical therapy, which could last between six and twelve additional weeks depending upon the course of recovery,” the filing says.

Friday’s filing doesn’t say which ailment first prompted Hastert’s hospitalization or whether some of his health issues arose in the hospital. It does say the spinal infection required surgery and it described the blood infection as “serious.”

The filing says Hastert’s lawyers have been in touch with prosecutors and that they don’t object to putting sentencing off.

Hastert pleaded guilty Oct. 28. In the written plea agreement, he directly acknowledged for the first time that he sought to pay someone the $3.5 million to hide misconduct by Hastert against that person dating back several decades – about the time the longtime GOP leader was a high school wrestling coach.