Bryan Bickell diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis

Carolina Hurricanes' Bryan Bickell (29) battles with Edmonton Oilers' Tyler Pitlick (15). (Amber Bracken/CP)

On Friday, the Carolina Hurricanes sent out a press release stating that forward Bryan Bickell has been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.

Hurricanes executive vice president and general manager Ron Francis released the following statement:

“First and foremost, the most important thing is for Bryan to take care of himself and our thoughts are with him and his family. He will need to take some time to rest in the immediate future, and we will support him as he takes the necessary steps for his health. We ask that his privacy be respected during the process.”

Bickell also released a statement:

“Since the 2015 playoffs, I’ve been struggling to understand what was going on with my body. Again during the past few weeks, it felt like something wasn’t right. Obviously this is a bit of shock for my family and me, but I am hopeful I will be able to return to the ice and continue playing the game that I love.”

Bickell has played just seven games for Carolina since the club acquired him in June. The 30-year-old has played 391 NHL games with 66 goals and 136 points and won three Stanley Cups with the Chicago Blackhawks.

Former NHL goalie Josh Harding, now 32, was also diagnosed with the disease in 2012.

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