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Lightning F Mattias Ritola's ear disease acts up, misses practice, status uncertain



It was somewhat surprising Thursday to see Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Mattias Ritola talking on his cell phone under the stands of Rexall Place instead of skating during practice. But Ritola's Meniere's disease, which causes dizziness and ringing in his right ear, apparently acted up on the flight from Calgary to Edmonton, so he was held out of practice.

Ritola, acquired in October off waivers from the Red Wings, has battled the affliction all season, though he said Tuesday in Calgary that a double dose of the medication he is taking to control the problem seemed to be having a good effect. He even played against the Flames. But the half-hour flight to Edmonton apparently triggered something, and Ritola's status for Friday's game with the Oilers is uncertain. If he does not play, Tampa Bay will go with 11 forwards and seven defensemen.

We could know more on Friday as Ritola is expected to speak to general manager Steve Yzerman about the situation.    

[Last modified: Saturday, January 8, 2011 12:15am]


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