Sidney Crosby skated, but he didn’t talk.
His coach talked, but he didn’t say much.
Welcome to life in Pittsburgh these days, where the main questions around its injured superstar are when will there be an update and just what that update will be.
“He was pretty excited about being on the ice and back with some of his teammates today,” Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said as part of his opening statements on Monday after Crosby had skated before practice.
“We are currently waiting for the results from an independent physician, and until that time, they’re won’t be an update on his condition.”
At issue now is news that broke over the all-star break that Crosby had suffered a previously undiagnosed neck injury in addition to a concussion, which may have combined to keep him out of all but eight games over the past 12 months.
The diagnosis was discovered by a neurological spine specialist, Robert Bray, who has recently joined the legion of medical professionals attending to the Penguins captain.
Add to that group this new, as-yet-unnamed “independent” doctor and more questions have arisen as to what the team’s medical staff may have missed, either when Crosby was initially hurt early last year or suffered a relapse in November.
Without comment from the player or management on Monday, it was left to Bylsma and his players to face the media in the team’s first availability since the break.
“I know I feel, Sidney feels that he’s gotten every possible support from the Penguins and the medical staff,” Bylsma said. “That’s how we feel about it, and I know Sidney feels the same way.”
“I know he skated today,” defenceman Brooks Orpik said, after offering a few uncertainties in response to questions about Crosby’s injuries. “Physically he’s looked a lot better the last couple weeks. He looks a lot more upbeat. If that [new diagnosis]is the case, then hopefully he can put some of this stuff behind him and he can move forward.”
With national media in attendance for Pittsburgh’s game Tuesday against the Toronto Maple Leafs, there’s speculation the Penguins may choose to either update Crosby’s condition or let him speak prior to the game.
In the meantime, however, the only update is that there is no real update, with a return date still completely unknown.
“I don’t think he’s at full exertion,” Bylsma said of Crosby’s light on-ice workout with the team’s other injured players. “Certainly not close to contact or anything like that. There wasn’t a heart rate monitor on him, but I’m sure he got up there a little bit.”
“It’s just good to see him back,” Orpik added. “We saw him [skating]down in Florida, and I don’t know if it’s a coincidence or not, but that was the start of our seven-game win streak. So maybe that was a little uplifting for us.”