Minnesota Wild goalie Josh Harding has been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
According to NECN, Harding was diagnosed with the MS, a disease that attacks the body’s immune system, about two months ago. The 28-year-old NHL goalie is still working out, however, and says that he’ll be ready to play if the lockout ends this year.
“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 that he was depressed when he first heard the news but then decided that he was going to let MS slow him down.
“I had a couple days where I felt bad for myself, but no more. There’s things in life that happen. Sometimes you can’t explain it. You deal with it.”
Wild teammate Zach Parise said:
“It’s a pretty sad thing to hear when someone your own age and a friend and a teammate gets diagnosed with that. 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 played 34 games for the Wild last season and signed a three-year $5.7 million contract with the team over the summer.
General manager Chuck Fletcher said:
“Our thoughts and prayers are with Josh and his family. Josh’s competitive fire has led him to a successful career in the NHL and we know he will approach this new battle in the same manner.”
Sports Illustrated reports that Harding decided to break the news this week for a few reasons. First, he didn’t want the news to distract from the season if the NHL lockout comes to an end. He also wants to inspire people with MS.
“I don’t want people treating me different, I don’t want people feeling bad for me, I don’t want people moping around. I want this to be a story where when we look back, it was a happy story.”