Wild's Harding takes time off to adjust MS medication

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 13, 2013 - 12:04 AM

The Wild goalie and club officials realize changes are inevitable in his treatment for multiple sclerosis.

hide

Wild goalie Josh Harding.

Photo: Richard Tsong-Taatarii, Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA - Josh Harding, searching for the right course of treatment for multiple sclerosis while playing goalie for the Wild, said his body hasn't reacted well to new medication the past couple of weeks, and he missed his scheduled start Tuesday night against the Canucks.
 
Harding wouldn't disclose his symptoms but said he is not having an "episode."
 
"I'm not going to go into too many details. Right now I'm a little off," Harding said. "The decision was made to take this one off and just take care of it right now."
 
Darcy Kuemper, the 2011 Canadian Hockey League Goalie of the Year and Western Hockey League Player of the Year, was called up to make his NHL debut while regular starter Niklas Backstrom gets the night off.
 
Wild General Manager Chuck Fletcher said that when the season began, Harding promised to be honest with the organization any time he wasn't feeling 100 percent. Harding did that in recent days, Fletcher said.
 
Doctors advised Fletcher there could be trial and error with Harding's treatment and "that eventually we will get to the right spot where the medication works and his body adapts to it."
 
"It's not a one-size-fits-all solution," Fletcher said. "Every case is different, so we're going to get there. We're very optimistic about that, but right now, he feels a little off.
 
"I give him credit. It's against a hockey player's nature to come in and say he doesn't feel he can do it. He feels down a little bit about it, but we really support him and I give him a lot of credit for coming forward and giving us this information."
 
Last September, Harding felt a tweak in his neck. That evolved into dizziness, seeing black spots and numbness in his right leg. Wild doctor Dan Peterson discovered lesions on Harding's brain and informed the 28-year-old that he had MS, an incurable autoimmune disease where one's body randomly attacks and eats away the protective lining of his nerves and causes them to scar. It causes blurred vision and problems with balance and fatigue.
 
In November, Peterson said, "Thirty percent have a second episode in a year, 20 percent may take two to five years. It bodes well that we got on it right away before he got into a cycle of getting run down or his immune system flaring up. Maybe he never has another episode."
 
Harding said he had "no idea" what the next step will be.
 
"Right now it's day to day," Harding said. "I have to deal with it. Coming into this, I knew it wasn't going to be the most perfect road. There's going to be some bumps in the road for sure, and there's going to be some challenges. I know things are going to get better."
 
Harding said he is "100 percent" positive he will continue to be an NHL goalie. In fact, he went on the ice during the Wild's optional morning skate Tuesday and tended goal.
 
Still, as much as the Wild plans to support Harding, there is the hockey component to think about.
Harding is in the first year of a three-year deal. Niklas Backstrom, who turns 35 Wednesday, is in the last year of his contract. The Wild also has Kuemper, 22, and fellow prospects Matt Hackett in Houston and Johan Gustafsson in Sweden.
 
Hackett was considered the No. 3 in the organization, but Kuemper got the call because he has won five of six games in Houston and has the American Hockey League's second-best goals-against average (1.79) and save percentage (.938).
 
"He's been the best goalie in the American League the last month. He deserves to be here," Fletcher said.
 
Fletcher wouldn't speculate if Harding will need a few days or a few weeks.
 
"We're very confident we'll get there, but there could be some ups and downs along the way," Fletcher said.
 
  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Los Angeles - LP: B. Wilson 7 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - WP: J. Grimm 8
Detroit - WP: M. Scherzer 3 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: J. Shields 2
Philadelphia 0 Top 5th Inning
Oakland 0
Toronto 1 Top 5th Inning
NY Yankees 2
Arizona 0 Top 5th Inning
Colorado 4
Boston - R. De La Rosa 6:05 PM
Baltimore - C. Tillman
Milwaukee - M. Garza 6:05 PM
Pittsburgh - E. Volquez
Washington - J. Zimmermann 6:10 PM
Miami - J. Cosart
NY Mets - J. Niese 6:10 PM
Atlanta - M. Minor
Chicago WSox - H. Noesi 6:10 PM
Tampa Bay - C. Archer
Cleveland - T. House 6:10 PM
Minnesota - T. May
Seattle - C. Young 6:10 PM
Houston - D. Keuchel
Cincinnati - M. Leake 6:15 PM
St. Louis - M. Wacha
San Francisco - Y. Petit 7:40 PM
San Diego - A. Cashner
Texas - C. Lewis 8:05 PM
LA Angels - J. Weaver
San Diego 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Buffalo
Dallas 9/21/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Washington 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Houston 9/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Minnesota 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Tennessee 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Baltimore 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland
Green Bay 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Indianapolis 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Oakland 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New England
San Francisco 9/21/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Denver 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Kansas City 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Miami
Pittsburgh 9/21/14 7:30 PM
Carolina
Chicago 9/22/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 9/25/14 7:25 PM
Washington
Connecticut 14 FINAL
So Florida 17
Old Dominion 45 FINAL
Rice 42
Troy 0 FINAL
(13) Georgia 66
Georgia Tech 27 FINAL
Virginia Tech 24
Eastern Mich 14 FINAL
(11) Michigan State 73
Iowa 24 FINAL
Pittsburgh 20
Bowling Green 17 FINAL
(19) Wisconsin 68
Maryland 34 FINAL
Syracuse 20
Tulane 13 FINAL
Duke 47
Hawaii 12 FINAL
Colorado 21
Marshall 48 4th Qtr 4:07
Akron 10
Central Mich 3 Delayed
Kansas 7
Virginia 16 3rd Qtr
(21) BYU 13
(6) Texas A&M 38 3rd Qtr
SMU 3
Rutgers 24 3rd Qtr
Navy 14
Florida 14 3rd Qtr
(3) Alabama 21
North Carolina 20 2nd Qtr 0:38
East Carolina 28
Army 21 3rd Qtr 13:30
Wake Forest 14
Utah 13 3rd Qtr 15:00
Michigan 10
Louisville 7 2nd Qtr 11:18
FIU 0
Texas State 14 Delayed 13:35
Illinois 6
Fla Atlantic 6 3rd Qtr
Wyoming 10
San Jose St 7 3rd Qtr
Minnesota 17
Indiana 14 2nd Qtr 2:42
(18) Missouri 17
Massachusetts 0 2nd Qtr 1:18
Penn State 34
Georgia State 5:00 PM
Washington
Appalachian St 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Miss State 6:00 PM
(8) LSU
Northern Ill 6:00 PM
Arkansas
Middle Tennessee 6:00 PM
Memphis
Utah State 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Miami-Ohio 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Idaho 6:00 PM
Ohio U
Ball State 6:00 PM
Toledo
(14) So Carolina 6:30 PM
Vanderbilt
(4) Oklahoma 6:30 PM
West Virginia
Ga Southern 6:30 PM
South Alabama
UNLV 7:00 PM
Houston
(22) Clemson 7:00 PM
(1) Florida State
Miami-Florida 7:00 PM
(24) Nebraska
New Mexico 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 9:00 PM
Arizona
Louisiana 9:30 PM
Boise State
(2) Oregon 9:30 PM
Washington St
San Diego St 9:30 PM
Oregon State
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(25) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(12) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Middle Tennessee 9/26/14 7:00 PM
Old Dominion
Fresno State 9/26/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
(1) Florida State 9/27/14 2:00 AM
NC State
Duke 9/27/14 2:00 AM
Miami-Florida
North Carolina 9/27/14 2:00 AM
(22) Clemson
Texas-El Paso 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(20) Kansas State
Tennessee 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(13) Georgia
Vanderbilt 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Kentucky
Wyoming 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(11) Michigan State
Northwestern 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
TCU 9/27/14 11:00 AM
SMU
Iowa 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Tulane 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers
So Florida 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Colorado State 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Western Mich 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
Maryland 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Indiana
Akron 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/27/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Arkansas 9/27/14 2:30 PM
(6) Texas A&M
Kent State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Virginia
Western Ky 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Minnesota 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Wake Forest 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Louisville
FIU 9/27/14 2:30 PM
UAB
Miami-Ohio 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Colorado 9/27/14 3:00 PM
California
Louisiana Tech 9/27/14 3:00 PM
(5) Auburn
Texas 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Kansas
Temple 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Connecticut
(16) Stanford 9/27/14 3:15 PM
Washington
TX-San Antonio 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
South Alabama 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Idaho
Cincinnati 9/27/14 5:00 PM
(23) Ohio State
Rice 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
(18) Missouri 9/27/14 6:00 PM
(14) So Carolina
Boise State 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Air Force
Central Mich 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
Troy 9/27/14 6:00 PM
ULM
New Mexico St 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(8) LSU
Memphis 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(10) Ole Miss
Texas State 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Washington St 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Utah
(9) Notre Dame 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Syracuse
(7) Baylor 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Iowa State
UNLV 9/27/14 7:00 PM
San Diego St
Illinois 9/27/14 8:00 PM
(24) Nebraska
Oregon State 9/27/14 9:30 PM
(17) USC
Nevada 9/27/14 9:30 PM
San Jose St
Vancouver FC 0 1st Half 44:55
Portland 0
Houston 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
New England 6:30 PM
Columbus
San Jose 6:30 PM
Montreal
Seattle 6:30 PM
Red Bull New York
D.C. 7:30 PM
Chicago
FC Dallas 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
Toronto 40 FINAL
Brt Columbia 23
Edmonton 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Calgary 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Ottawa 9/21/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Montreal 9/26/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 9/26/14 9:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/27/14 5:30 PM
Winnipeg
Brt Columbia 9/27/14 8:30 PM
Calgary
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Which local pro team are you most excited about?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close