Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Penguins Star Crosby Dealing with Neck Injury, Not Just Concussion: Crosby Had Neck Injury along with Concussion

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Penguins Star Crosby Dealing with Neck Injury, Not Just Concussion: Crosby Had Neck Injury along with Concussion

Article excerpt

OTTAWA - Sidney Crosby has been dealing with much more than a concussion.

The Pittsburgh Penguins confirmed Saturday that their franchise player was diagnosed with a neck injury more than a year after his career was derailed by a hit in the 2011 Winter Classic.

The latest twist in a frustrating recovery for the NHL's marquee player came after he visited neurological spine specialist Dr. Robert S. Bray in Los Angeles earlier this week. That's where the neck problem was discovered -- a development that raised more questions than it answered about Crosby.

Chief among them is whether the Penguins star is satisfied with the medical care he's received from the NHL team. The player's agent, Pat Brisson, refused to shed any light on that issue while speaking with reporters following Saturday's skills challenge.

"I can't really comment on that," said Brisson.

In a statement, the Penguins said Crosby would "be evaluated by independent specialists over the next few days" to confirm Bray's findings.

While some reports suggested Crosby suffered a fracture to his C1 and C2 vertebrae, Brisson indicated that it was too soon to draw that conclusion.

"I guess once the results will come early next week, they'll be able to release a much better diagnosis (that's) more precise," said Brisson. "I only go based on the information that we are getting and are going to be getting."

News of the neck injury hit like a bombshell just hours before the skills challenge at Scotiabank Place. It originated in a sourced report from Bob McCown of Rogers Sportsnet before later being confirmed by the Penguins and Brisson.

With the league's best players gathered in Ottawa -- save for Crosby -- it also provided another reminder of the pall his absence has cast over the sport.

Crosby's injury problems date back to a hit from David Steckel, formerly of the Washington Capitals, in the Winter Classic game on Jan. 1, 2011. He took a subsequent hit from Tampa's Victor Hedman four days later and has only played eight games in the 12 months since. …

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