CHICAGO -- The Rev. Jesse Jackson said there is "no timetable" as his son, U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., recovers from depression and gastrointestinal issues at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.

The elder Jackson spoke to reporters Saturday outside a downtown Chicago movie theater. The civil rights leader was with protesters in support of a ban on assault weapons.

"There is no timetable on his recovery," Jackson said. "We hope he will fully recover."

Jackson, a Chicago Democrat, has been on a secretive leave of absence for nearly seven weeks. The congressman went on leave June 10, but his office didn't disclose it until weeks later. Initially, his office said Jackson was being treated for exhaustion. Since then, the office has said his condition was more serious and required inpatient medical treatment.

The Mayo Clinic released a statement Friday saying the congressman was being treated there for depression and gastrointestinal issues.

The elder Jackson said "such a challenge is a game-changer, and challenges all members of a given family."

Jackson is facing an ethics investigation in the U.S. House connected to former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who was convicted on corruption charges. Jackson was not charged and has repeatedly denied wrongdoing.

Earlier on HuffPost:

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  • Jesse Jackson Jr.

    FILE - In this March 21, 2010 file photo, Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr., D-Ill., uses his PDA to photograph demonstrators outside on the U.S. Capitol as the House prepares to vote on health care reform in Washington. When Jackson disappeared on a mysterious medical leave in June 2012, it took weeks for anyone in Washington to notice. Jackson has never lived up to the high expectations on the national stage.

  • Jesse Jackson, Jr.

    FILE - In this Jan. 5, 2011 file photo, Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr., D-Ill., is pictured before a ceremonial swearing in of the Congressional Black Caucus on Capitol Hill in Washington.

  • Jesse Jackson Jr.

    FILE - In this May 16, 2011 file photo, U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. attends ceremonies for Chicago Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast, File)

  • Jesse Jackson Jr.

    FILE - In this Tuesday, March 20, 2012 file photo, U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., D-Ill., thanks supporters at his election night party in Chicago. Jackson's office announced Monday, June 25, 2012 in a news release that the congressman has been on a medical leave of absence since June 10 and is being treated for exhaustion. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green, File)

  • Jesse Jackson Jr., Sandi Jackson

    U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., D-Ill., and his wife Chicago Alderman Sandi Jackson, thank family members at his election night party Tuesday, March 20, 2012, in Chicago after his Democratic primary win over challenger, former Rep. Debbie Halvorson, in the Illinois' 2nd District. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)

  • Jesse Jackson Jr., Sandi Jackson

    U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., D-Ill., and his wife Chicago Alderman Sandi Jackson, embrace at his election night party Tuesday, March 20, 2012, in Chicago after his Democratic primary win over challenger, former Rep. Debbie Halvorson, in the Illinois' 2nd District. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)

  • Timothy Geithner, Jesse Jackson Jr.

    Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, right, declines an offer by U.S. Rep Jesse Jackson Jr., D-Ill., to talk to reporters during a tour of the Ford Motor Company Stamping Plant in Chicago Heights, Ill., Wednesday, April 4, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

  • U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., Sandi Jackson

    U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. and his wife, Chicago Alderman Sandi Jackson, ask each other for their support and votes as they arrive at a polling station for early voting, Friday, March 9, 2012, in Chicago. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)