After a few days of speculation and rumination on the health of Sidney Crosby, the Pittsburgh Penguins star and his agent released several statements on the team’s website on Wednesday night in an attempt to calm the storm.
The biggest items of note among what they had to say were as follows:
1. Crosby’s been visiting several concussion specialists across the U.S., having already seen some in Michigan and Georgia.
2. He made progress over the summer and took part in his normal workout program, but when he reached “90 per cent exertion,” he began to have headaches. That’s when the specialists were sought out.
3. According to agent Pat Brisson, “he’s got a lot of great years ahead of him” -- but will only be back once he’s entirely symptom free.
When that might be, however, remains very much a mystery.
The release begins with several positives, indicating that the specialists believe Crosby “will make a full recovery,” but the confirmation that he’s had a second significant setback is obviously very troubling.
As was the case the first time his symptoms returned in April, it appears that once Crosby began to push himself close to his limits in workouts, the headaches came right back.
Brisson also asked for a little sanity in terms of the media push for regular updates on Crosby's progress.
“We would appreciate patience and understanding at this time,” Brisson said. “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.
“He has been feeling a lot better but we want to give him all the time he needs to make a full recovery.”
Crosby offered only one short quote in the release, thanking those around him -- including the Penguins -- for their help through this difficult time.
“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.”
It's hard not to think that that’s all we hear from Sid The Kid until training camp, which starts in three weeks in Pittsburgh.
At this point, it certainly appears they’ll be without their biggest star to start the season, leaving a gaping hole in the Penguins lineup and an even bigger one for the league as a whole.
All that talk about concussions, meanwhile, is going to keep on coming.