MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Josh Harding didn't feel right. The Minnesota Wild goalie became dizzy during a workout on the ice about two months ago, and he started seeing big, black dots.
The neck problem he had was much more than that. Doctors diagnosed him with multiple sclerosis after a series of tests, and he's been undergoing treatment since then for the disease, which attacks the body's immune system and affects the central nervous system. Symptoms can include problems with balance, vision and fatigue. But the 28-year-old Harding, who resumed on-ice workouts two weeks ago without trouble, has no plans to end or alter his career.
He said his goal is to be ready if the NHL lockout ends soon.
"I'm going to do my part over here, skating regularly, working out regularly, getting back into shape and hopefully be good to go for training camp," Harding said after an informal workout on Thursday with some of his Wild teammates and other NHL players at the University of Minnesota. They've been trying to stay sharp at the local rinks while the labor dispute that's already prompted cancelation of about one-third of the scheduled games this season lingers.
When he was missing from the skating sessions a few weeks, his friends figured there might be some bad news coming.
"It's a pretty sad thing to hear when someone your own age and a friend and a teammate gets diagnosed with that," Wild left wing Zach Parise said, adding: "He's going to fight it. He doesn't want anyone feeling bad for him. He's not going to walk around with the 'poor me' attitude either. You would never know anything was wrong with him."
Harding said he feels some fatigue during the day and has a tough time sleeping, but he said he's not worried about the long-term effect of the disease.
"We're not really looking at the future too much. We're going to treat it aggressively right now," he said. "We can't tell what three or five years is going to bring. With MS, you can't really know that. We're going to do everything on our part to reduce the risk of having an attack or anything."
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