On Saturday the agent, for Sidney Crosby, Pat Brisson confirmed his client had another injury mixed in with his well-documented concussion woes - two broken vertebrae in his neck. That injury, however, healed without his doctors knowing it existed.
Crosby, a specialist found, had fractures to the C1 and C2 vertebrae in his neck. The Penguins released a statement on their website regarding those injuries and the continued care their captain is receiving.
“The diagnosis of Dr. Robert S. Bray, a neurological spine specialist based in Los Angeles, is that Sidney Crosby had suffered a neck injury in addition to a concussion,” the team statement reads. “Dr. Bray reports the neck injury is fully healed. Those findings will be evaluated by independent specialists over the next few days. The most important goal all along has been Sidney's return to full health, and we are encouraged that progress continues to be made.”
Crosby Suffered Neck Injuries
It has not been made clear, and does not seem to be known, when Crosby suffered the injuries to his neck, whether after he first took a blow to the head from David Steckel in January of 2011, days later when hit against the boards or after he then missed 10 months and returned for 8 games this season before suffering re-occurrences of concussion symptoms. Brisson did not want to speculate with reporters.
“I’m not going to evaluate whether this was a second concussion or first or third. All I can say is that Sidney went to see Dr. Bray and he was diagnosed with a neck injury. He had an MRI and a CAT scan and early next week we are going to evaluate what was found perhaps," Brisson told reporters in Ottawa at the all-star game week-end. “The good news is that Sidney is safe and doing well and not in danger. That’s number one. Number two is we want to find out if it’s accurate. I can’t say much more than that.”
Brisson and the Penguins, and Crosby, say they continue to be optimistic that he will be able to return to playing this season. Crosby has been skating with his team the past two weeks, though he has not been cleared for contact. “His goal is to play once he’s safe and sound, and feels good and has no symptoms," Brisson said.
"His goal is to play, the sooner the better. I can’t put any timeline. I have no clue.”