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Steve Jobs sounding "energetic" a month before return to Apple

Steve Wozniak had to opportunity to speak with Steve Jobs recently and said the Apple chief executive sounded “healthy" and "energetic” a little over a month before he's scheduled to return to the company.

The Apple co-founder made the comments Wednesday from the sidelines of the Wall Street Journal's All Things D conference, where Jobs has been a guest of honor on many occasions (1, 2, 3, 4).

Although Wozniak admitted to having never asked Jobs about his health directly, he told representatives for the financial paper that his one-time pal “doesn’t sound like he’s sick,” nor does he appear to be battling a dire health problem.

The upbeat comments contrast with those made by Jobs' real estate attorney Howard Ellman last month during a town council meeting to determine whether the chief executive should be free to demolish a historic but abandoned mansion he owns in the Woodside Hills.

"I don't think he would be strong enough if we were here until 1 a.m., and I think there's a strong possibility of that," Ellman said, referring to the time it would take for the local review board to hear all arguments on the matter.

Jobs said in January that he would take a medical leave from his daily role at Apple through the end of June in order to attend to health issues that turned out to be "more complex" than he originally thought.

Although he underwent successful surgery for pancreatic cancer in 2004, Jobs' health would again emerge as a topic of public concern when he appeared increasingly gaunt during Apple media events in 2007 and 2008.

Wall Street analysts have used recent quarterly conference calls to press members of Apple's leadership for an update on Jobs' health, to which they've responded by saying they still expect him to return at the end of June.

It remains unclear in what capacity Jobs will return to the company. Some analysts have speculated that if he does return, it will be in the form of a reduced role such as Chairman.