Minnesota Wild Goalie Harding Diagnosed With Multiple Sclerosis

Minnesota Wild goaltender Josh Harding has been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, the National Hockey League team said.

Harding, 28, is undergoing treatment for the disease.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Josh and his family,” Wild General Manager Chuck Fletcher said in a statement on the team’s website. “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.”

Harding has played parts of six seasons with Minnesota and signed a three-year contract extension in June. After missing the 2010-11 due to a knee injury, he posted 13 wins with two shutouts in a career-high 34 games last season.

Multiple sclerosis is an incurable autoimmune disease that attacks the central nervous system. There are an estimated 200 new cases diagnosed every week in the U.S., according to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

The NHL has locked out its players as the sides try to come up with a new collective agreement. The league has canceled games through Dec. 14, plus the outdoor Winter Classic on Jan. 1 and the All-Star Game on Jan. 27.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mike Buteau in Atlanta at mbuteau@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at msillup@bloomberg.net

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