Neurological Disorder Threatens Malarchuk's Career in Hockey

Associated Press

Clint Malarchuk, San Diego Gulls goalie, says his career could be in jeopardy if he can't find a medication that controls a neurological illness that leaves him sluggish.

Malarhchuk, on loan from the Buffalo Sabres, suffers from obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). He tried to wean himself from his prescribed medication before Friday's International Hockey League game against Salt Lake. He experienced an OCD flare-up that day, gave up four goals on five shots and was pulled 1:05 into the second period.

"I've struggled with the problem ever since I was diagnosed last January," said Malarchuk, 31, a 12-year veteran of professional hockey, including 10 in the NHL. "It's to the point where I'm going to have to get control of it or make a decision on my career."

Malarchuk met with a doctor Saturday and is scheduled to visit another this week. He plans to enroll in a program at UC San Diego that specializes in treatment of the disease.

Malarchuk should be able to find alternative medicines that will allow him to continue playing without experiencing sluggishness, said Dr. Stephen Stahl, a professor in the psychiatry department at UCSD.

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