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Crosby sees leading concussion specialists; agent asks for “patience and understanding”

Aug 24, 2011, 10:14 PM EDT

Sidney Crosby AP

There have been reports that Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby experienced headaches in the wake of his January concussion that caused him to alter his workouts. Today, the team confirmed the reports saying that once he reached ninety percent exertion in his workouts, “he started having some headaches again.” For fans following every single report as the superstar works his way back to the ice, today’s news simply confirms that Crosby experienced the concussion-like symptoms and had to slowdown his path to recovery.

Crosby finally issued a public statement, albeit a short, prepared statement that didn’t shed much light on his health. “I appreciate all the support I’ve received from my family, friends, teammates and fans and from the entire Penguins organization,” Crosby said. “I know they only want the best for my health, and for me to be fully ready when I return to game action.”

Crosby’s agent Pat Brisson had plenty to say as he stressed that today’s news is not a setback in anyway. Concussions take time and Crosby never had a specific date for full clearance. People around the hockey world may have put certain deadlines on his recovery, but neither the Penguins, nor Crosby have a specific date in mind.  As concussions aren’t black-and-white situations, Crosby has had the Penguins’ blessing to see a couple of leading specialists in the United States to aid in his recovery:

“We always knew this was going to be a progressive recovery – based on how he felt. With a concussion, there is not a finite recovery period like with a shoulder injury or a knee injury. That’s why we’ve never even set a specific goal for a return date like the start of training camp or Oct. 1 or anything else. He will play when he is symptom free.”

“We’ve had him see leading specialists because we want to make sure he gets the best care possible. The Penguins always encourage their players to get second and third medical opinions and have been very supportive of this. And we’ve been talking to Ray Shero every step of the way.”

It’s ironic that his comments (and his agents) come only a day after a Pittsburgh Tribune-Review writer said that Crosby owed it to the hockey world to keep everyone informed of his situation.

There’s no doubt that Crosby will continue to do anything he can to get onto the ice as soon as possible. The frustrating part of a concussion is there is no set timetable for recovery. As frustrating as an ACL injury can be to an athlete, at least all parties involved understand that it’s a 9-12 month recovery. No one asks a player if he’s almost ready to return three weeks after he blows his knee out. But in the case of a concussion—no one knows if it will take 10 days or 10 months to recover.

Or worse.

Bruce Arthur of the National Post understands that no matter when Crosby returns, there’s a chance that he won’t be the same player:

“So many players have never been the same after suffering a concussion this severe, or at least, that has lasted this long. Eric Lindros, Paul Kariya, Pat LaFontaine, Keith Primeau, Savard, on and on. Not every concussion opens a window to more concussions. Maybe this is the only brain injury Sidney Crosby will ever suffer, and he will fulfill the promise of being a generation-defining player. He is just 23.”

The worst part about Arthur’s comment is that he wrote it six month ago—yet we still have no more clarity today than we did in February. Obviously, speculation and negative forecasts are the last things on Team Crosby’s minds. Predictably, they are asking fans to remain patient as the four-time all-star tries to work his way back to the Penguins next season:

“We would appreciate patience and understanding at this time. There has been a lot of speculation swirling over the past several weeks. We wish we could provide more specific details about Sidney’s recovery, but a concussion is a different kind of injury. It’s not something you can check with an x-ray. And you can’t predict a precise recovery period. It’s all about the way he feels.”

For the good of the Penguins and fans all over the NHL, hopefully his recovery period is nearing its conclusion.

  1. tk1966 - Aug 24, 2011 at 10:50 PM

    As a hockey fan and as Pens fan, I honestly think that Crosby should shut it down a while longer. When he feels like he’s 100%, stay shut down a bit longer. At this point, if there are still lingering symptoms, even if minor, very light conditioning at most should be all he’s doing until at least Christmas. Come back in the spring, in time to contribute, healthy, for the stretch run. But no sooner. Malkin and the gang can carry the load for a while. They will keep them in playoff contention. If Sid come back in the spring, it’ll be like making a blockbuster trade and carry them deep into the playoffs.

    • stakex - Aug 24, 2011 at 11:14 PM

      …and what medical school did you go to?

      While everyone is entitled to their opinion, leave the medical opinions for the doctors.

      • tk1966 - Aug 25, 2011 at 3:21 PM

        1. Yes, you were right, everyone is entitled to an opinion. I was simply stating mine.
        2. No, I did not go to “Medical School”, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t necessarily have knowledge of neurological conditions. I in fact do have an extensive science and anatomy background, gained in conducting research, albeit not in medical school. I do work in a medical ancillary field. Therefore, one could rightly argue (if so inclined), that I do have the background necessary to make an informed argument and state an opinion.
        3. Looks like you not only are gravely in error, but that your rancor (thanks Kristen) is completely misguided and misdirected.
        4. And it would also appear that the vast majority disagree with your take.
        5. Have a nice day

  2. Kristenaux - Aug 25, 2011 at 12:21 AM

    @stakex –

    >>and what medical school did you go to? <<

    Why the rancor? TK1966 simply made a very innocent & legitimate remark. In no way did he say he knew what was best for Sid – just that he might benefit long term by taking more time off. Your problem with that is…?

    Frankly I feel the same way. And after seeing really talented players careers end because they rush back "for the team", I'd sooner Sid stay out now & still be playing when he's 40 than have his amazing talents shut down at age 24…see? And I'm not a doctor either.

  3. capsrockva - Aug 25, 2011 at 9:41 AM

    As much as I can’t stand him personally as a Caps fan, he needs to shut it down until he is 100% and no less than that. his loss will be felt in the hockey world for sure, but if he can’t play anymore than he needs to retire

    • lonespeed - Aug 25, 2011 at 9:04 PM

      I absolutely hate Cindy Crosby, but I’d rather hate him on the ice. I sincerely hope he gets back to 100%. But then I hope to see him cry on the bench because his team is losing.

  4. jpelle82 - Aug 25, 2011 at 11:03 AM

    at his age there is no way he will be retiring any time soon. as a pens fan i do agree he should shut it down though. penguins are good enough to be in the top 8 in the east without him anyway. i would be fine even if he came back for just the playoffs

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