Sidney Crosby has a concussion. Again.
Also, there is no timetable for his return.
The Penguins announced that Crosby sustained the concussion during practice on Friday, his second practice with the team since he helped Team Canada win the World Cup of Hockey. Head coach Mike Sullivan wouldn’t confirm what specifically caused the concussion and said that Crosby didn’t practice on Monday due to concussion testing.
“We had him in the lineup to play in the last exhibition Saturday,” Sullivan said. “He came to the rink and that morning reported to our medical staff that he wasn’t feeling well. We went from there. We took him out of the lineup, and [Monday] he went through a concussion protocol and he was diagnosed with a concussion. So our medical staff will take the appropriate measures moving forward.”
Crosby missed a total of 101 games due to concussion-related issues in 2010-2011 and 2011-2012. A hit on January 1 and another on January 5 of 2011 led to his missing the rest of the respective season. He returned to the lineup on November 21 of 2011, but was shelved eight games later as his symptoms recurred.
“We take all of the concussions that our players get afflicted with seriously,” Sullivan said. “So our medical staff follows strict guidelines. There’s a certain protocol and that’s how our team operates. We always have our players’ best interest [in mind], and health is the priority. Regardless of who the player is that’s how we feel. We’ve always felt that way. This one will be no different.”
The Penguins are putting on a brave face, but this has to be hard to deal with.
Crosby had 85 points in 80 games last season and rebounded after a slow start in which he had just nine points in his first 18 games. In the post-season, he had 19 points in 24 games and picked up the Conn Smythe Trophy as his Penguins won the Stanley Cup.
39-year-old Matt Cullen has stepped into the absence caused by the Crosby concussion. He practiced between Conor Sheary and Patric Hornqvist on Monday, while Nick Bonino took the empty spot on the power play with Evgeni Malkin, Phil Kessel and Hornqvist.
The Penguins open the regular season on Thursday against the Washington Capitals.