Penguins' Sidney Crosby decides against wrist surgery



Sidney Crosby isn't having arthroscopic surgery on his injured right wrist, after all.

Not yet, anyway.

But if the injections he has decided to receive in lieu of an operation don't have the desired effect, Crosby still could undergo surgery before training camp opens in September.

"If this treatment works, you avoid surgery and move on," Pat Brisson, who is Crosby's agent, said Tuesday. "If it doesn't, he will have to go that [surgical] route."

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, citing a source who requested anonymity, reported last Wednesday that Crosby was going to have surgery on his injured wrist "within the next few days."

Brisson confirmed that, as of July 8, "a couple of doctors [had] recommended the surgery," but said Crosby sought another opinion the next day and received yet another -- this one, from the doctor who suggested the injections -- Monday.

"We explored another option that was a second opinion, [then] we explored a third one and were recommended to perhaps explore something else rather than having surgery right away," Brisson said.

"We scheduled an appointment with another physician and were told [Monday] that with this certain treatment, this may work."

He declined to put a timeframe on how long Crosby will receive the injections before a decision is made on whether surgery will be necessary, but indicated it will be a matter of weeks.

Brisson said Crosby already has received at least one injection, but would not elaborate on the nature of the injections or specify the ailment they are intended to address.

"It's a form of injection that has been proven to work, but sometimes it doesn't work," Brisson said. "I don't want to get into all the details.

"It's a medical way of treating certain injuries."

He described Crosby's injury as being in the "wrist/hand" area and said it happened sometime in March.

Crosby was the NHL's leading scoring and most valuable player in the regular season, which ended in April, but did not perform to expectations in the playoffs, when he had one goal and eight assists in 13 games.

Crosby consistently denied during -- and even after -- the playoffs that he was injured, although it is standard procedure for players to disavow such things, especially during the postseason.

"He knew that something was wrong, but kept going," Brisson said. "Obviously, you don't talk about these things [while still involved in games], but you have to heal at some point."

Crosby, who could not be reached for comment, will be able to continue training and preparing for the coming season while he receives the injections.

He spent some time Saturday in Pittsburgh with new coach Mike Johnston, who said Tuesday they "didn't talk a lot about the injury."

Nonetheless, Johnston seemed moderately confident that Crosby's new therapy will make it possible for him to avoid surgery.

"Those are some of the questions we asked our trainers and the doctors, and they feel fairly confident that the step they're making right now with no surgery is the right step," Johnston said. "Whether something happens down the road, I guess you can never speculate.

"But we've got a good [medical] corps. I met several of the doctors today. I've met with our training staff a couple of times. I have a lot of confidence in them. They know what they're doing. We trust what they're doing."

Brisson appears to share that cautious optimism, although he noted that just because Crosby didn't immediately follow the advice of the physicians who advised him to have an operation "doesn't mean they're wrong."

Rather, he said, it simply is a matter of trying a more conservative form of treatment before turning to a surgical procedure.

"If you have other options, other alternatives, to resolve an issue and avoid surgery, you might as well explore them," Brisson said.

Precisely how long Crosby will receive the injections remains to be seen, but Brisson said Crosby will rely on medical professionals to make the ultimate determination of whether an operation is needed.

"We'll rely on the doctor's opinion," Brisson said. "We'll see when we cross that bridge how it's healing, how it's progressing."

Shelly Anderson contributed to this report. Dave Molinari: Dmolinari@Post-Gazette.com and Twitter @MolinariPG.


First Published July 15, 2014 12:00 AM

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