A judge is expected to rule on a request from Dennis Hastert's lawyers to delay a Feb. 29 sentencing in his hush-money case because he's recuperating from a stroke and other ailments.

A Thursday hearing in Chicago federal court comes a week after attorneys said in a filing the former U.S. House speaker now wears a leg brace and relies on a walker. The hearing will be prosecutors' first chance to weigh in. Hastert isn't required to attend.

The 74-year-old Republican entered a hospital in November shortly after pleading guilty to breaking banking laws as he sought to pay someone $3.5 million to conceal "prior misconduct." Hastert left the hospital Jan. 15.

Illness doesn't necessarily preclude a defendant being sentenced or imprisoned, though judges typically factor in health issues.