Crosby likely to be out for an extended period

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It doesn't appear as if Penguins center and captain Sidney Crosby will return to the lineup anytime soon.

Crosby continues to do light workouts and still is experiencing some concussion symptoms, coach Dan Bylsma said Wednesday.

It was the first update on the team's top player since Crosby spoke publicly Dec. 12, and it means he has not made much if any progress in the interim. He said then that he had some headaches and other symptoms but had passed an ImPACT neurocognitive exam and was optimistic he would not be out for as long as he initially was with the injury.

Sunday marks one year since Crosby's head and neck got rocked by a hit from David Steckel, then of Washington, in the Winter Classic at Heinz Field. Crosby took another hit to the head, Jan. 5 from Tampa Bay's Victor Hedman, was diagnosed with a concussion Jan. 6 and did not play for more than 10 months.

He returned to great fanfare Nov. 21 and played eight games, with two goals and 10 assists, before being pulled back out of the lineup. He has not played since Dec. 5 and has not resumed skating.

It's not known whether Crosby is experiencing problems related to the initial concussion or has a new injury.

There is no timetable regarding Crosby, whose symptoms could subside at any time or linger, and no indication that the club or his medical team has decided to shut him down for the rest of the season or any other specified length of time.

He eventually will have go through a set of recovery and rehabilitation stages that have become all too familiar considering his well-chronicled medical journey the past year -- increase the intensity of workouts, skate, practice, practice with contact and then play, all without symptoms flaring.

The emergence of concussion medicine has dovetailed with awareness raised by Crosby's battle. In hockey and other sports, those types of head injuries are being diagnosed and treated frequently.

Crosby is one of eight Penguins, or then-Penguins, who have gotten a concussion over the past year. Philadelphia, the opponent tonight, also has dealt with concussions. Claude Giroux, the NHL's leading scorer going into games Wednesday night, missed four games recently. The Flyers captain, defenseman Chris Pronger, has been ruled out for the season. And promising rookie Sean Couturier has missed the past four games.

This week, Nashville defenseman Shea Weber, Toronto's John-Michael Liles and Los Angeles winger Simon Gagne joined the growing list of prominent players who have dealt with concussions or suspected concussions.

"I don't think anyone likes to talk about, hear about concussions to athletes, but I think we're just talking about them a lot more than we did before," Bylsma said, adding that attention focused on those head injuries has heightened because of Crosby's troubles.

"It's unfortunate to see Shea Weber possibly have a concussion and [others]. It's certainly something to talk about, but maybe we talk a lot more about them than we have [in the past]."



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