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Predators’ Neal is sick, but at least it’s reportedly not the mumps

Nashville Predators v Carolina Hurricanes

RALEIGH, NC - DECEMBER 02:James Neal #18 of the Nashville Predators carries the puck during their NHL game against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena on December 2, 2014 in Raleigh, North Carolina. (Photo by Gregg Forwerck/NHLI via Getty Images)

NHLI via Getty Images

Nashville Predators forward James Neal won’t play against the Minnesota Wild tonight because he’s sick, the Tennessean’s Eric Stromgren reports.

Neal didn’t travel with the team to Minnesota, according to Stromgren. As usual, it’s unclear what type of illness is sidelining Neal, so we can’t cancel out the dreaded mumps.

Update: We’ve been through the “it’s not the mumps ... oops, it’s the mumps” drill before, but head coach Peter Laviolette told Stromgren that it’s not. Take that for what it’s worth.

Neal, 27, has 11 goals and 19 points in 30 games during his first season with the Predators. Nashville has seemingly avoided many of the headaches other NHL teams have been plagued by sickness-wise, but we’ll see if they go through their own troubles now, too.

Follow James O’Brien @cyclelikesedins