Sidney Crosby's recovery is back in the hands of Canadian-born chiropractor Ted Carrick.
The Pittsburgh Penguins announced Monday their captain will meet with Carrick this week. Crosby was treated by the founder of chiropractic neurology in August and credited him with helping accelerate his return from a concussion earlier this season.
Crosby last played for the Penguins on Dec. 5, when his concussion symptoms returned.
“Sidney has made a lot of progress but he is still having some symptoms, so this is the next step in his recovery,” said Penguins general manager Ray Shero. “Obviously he won't be back in the lineup until he is symptom-free.”
Crosby's agent, Pat Brisson, noted Carrick specializes in helping improve the “vestibular system” — which contributes to balance and spatial awareness.
That continues to be a problematic area for Crosby. He accompanied the Penguins on a three-game road trip last week and skated twice in Florida, telling reporters afterwards he continues to deal with issues related to motion.
“The motion stuff has kind of been the issue, both the time before and now going through it for a bit now,” Crosby said Friday. “The good thing is that I have a pretty good handle on it, and I'm always able to (treat) that. That was a big help in August when I went to Atlanta (to see Carrick).
“So I know I can handle that if I need to and if it comes to that.”
The Toronto-born Carrick practises in Florida and Georgia, and founded the Carrick Institute for Graduate Studies to teach his method of treating brain injuries. Viewed by some medical professionals as unorthodox, Carrick's holistic approach has gained notoriety through his work with Crosby, which was chronicled on CBC's Hockey Night in Canada and in a lengthy MacLean's feature.
Carrick's treatment combines chiropractic practice with neurology and includes the use of a “whole-body gyroscope” — a rotating chair which spins upside down in an effort to stimulate the brain.
“We tailor our treatments very specifically to the individual,” Carrick told MacLean's last year. “When we have an area that's not working right, we look at other areas that can compensate for that if we need to, or we look at mechanisms to make those areas work right.”
Since being diagnosed with a concussion Jan. 6, 2011 — after taking hits to the head in consecutive games — Crosby has appeared in just eight NHL games, registering two goals and 12 points.
His most recent setback came during a physical matchup with the Boston Bruins on Dec. 5, although Crosby wasn't even sure what particular play caused the concussion symptoms to return. The Penguins said he passed an ImPACT concussion test afterwards.
The 24-year-old's prolonged recovery has been monitored by Micky Collins of the University of Pittsburgh and was recently expanded to include Joseph Maroon, the neurosurgeon for the NFL's Pittsburgh Steelers who helped develop the ImPACT test.
Without Crosby, the struggling Penguins have slipped to eighth in the Eastern Conference standings. The team is also missing centre Jordan Staal (knee) and defenceman Kris Letang (concussion).