Three months after MS diagnosis, Bickell set to rejoin ‘Canes

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Carolina forward Bryan Bickell received life-altering news earlier this season when he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Bickell was unsure if he’d ever play hockey again, let alone this season.

Which makes today’s news quite incredible.

Per NHL.com, Bickell is aiming to return to the ‘Canes following their upcoming bye week, for a home date against the Avalanche on Feb. 17.

“It all depends too on what other guys are doing if they’re going on a huge streak,” Bickell explained. “I like to see them win. If they need me, I’m sure an extra week of me skating is not going to hurt me.

“We’re just going to wait until after the next treatment and after the bye week and go from there.”

Bickell’s treatment is a monthly intravenous of Tysabri, a drug which helps limit the effects of MS. The 30-year-old said he began feeling better upon taking the medication, and has since increased his skating workload to get up to NHL speed.

He’s been skating for a month, and said he’d be open to the idea of an AHL conditioning stint. He hasn’t played since Oct. 30.

The ‘Canes, meanwhile, have two games left before their break.

In the short-term, Bickell is set to have another round of Tysabri later this week, resume skating activity, then see where how he’s feeling.

Whatever the case, he’s already taken a big step in a very positive direction.