Team GO Rocket grunts, leaders and balloons have been disabled for a while now, as Niantic is working to address issues causing occasional game freezes. BrandonTan, considered by many to be the #1 Pokemon GO player, reached on on Twitter to Niantic Labs for commentary.
Niantic Support responded, but their response hasn’t given any information on the return date of our beloved villains:
We get what you mean to convey, Brandon. Our team is continuing to investigate the issue with Team GO Rocket. Sadly, we don't have information to share at the moment. Please stay tuned to our official channel for further updates. Your patience is appreciated, thank you! ^RD
— Niantic Support (@NianticHelp) April 18, 2021
We haven’t had all that many issues with TGR encounters, or at least not to a degree which would make this feature unusable, but Niantic thinks otherwise. The official Known Issues page describes the issues as follows:
Team GO Rocket Grunt encounters sometimes causes the game to freeze.
Issue description: Sometimes, when a Trainer initiates a battle with Team GO Rocket, the game will freeze and become unresponsive. This issue has been mitigated by removing Team GO Rocket encounters temporarily until this can be resolved.
Issue status: Investigating
The no-news scenario for TGR return date is unfortunate, as many of the Level 45 and 50 tasks require TGR to be available in the game. Players have expressed concerns about these delays, but there’s not a lot one can do on the matter.
We do hope that Niantic figures out what the underlying issue is and provides an update (or a fix) in the coming days. Until then, we got the Sustainability Week Event to look forward to and hopefully a soonish announcement events taking place in May.
Stay tuned for updates!