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Goalie Harding determined to battle MS

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MINNEAPOLIS -- 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.

When he was missing from the usual skating sessions for 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's not going to walk around with the 'poor me' attitude."

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.

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 30, 2012 C5

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