The neurological spine specialist who is treating Sidney Crosby's latest concussion symptoms is Robert S. Bray, a former U.S. college goaltender, who played two seasons for Colgate University, before he had to make a decision between sport and college.
He chose college – and now more than 30 years after graduation, is the founding director of Diagnostic and Interventional Spinal Care (D.I.S.C.) in Marina del Rey, California, where he is considered a pioneer in the development of spinal microsurgery and has performed over 9,000 such procedures.
Crosby, the Pittsburgh Penguins' captain, travelled to Southern California Friday to consult with Dr. Bray, the NHL team announced on its website Saturday.
The 24-year-old Crosby will undergo a series of tests with Dr. Bray, according to Penguins' general manager Ray Shero, who said in prepared a statement: "Sidney is meeting with some of the top specialists in the country as he continues his recovery."
According to Pat Brisson, Crosby's L.A.-based player agent, Crosby received treatment on Saturday morning and will spend at least two more days – Monday and Tuesday – under Dr. Bray's care; and at that point, they would re-evaluate his condition and determine what to do next. Crosby will also continue skating during the time he's receiving treatment.
In a telephone interview, Brisson – who is co-head of the Creative Artist Agency's hockey division, said the idea of putting Crosby together with Bray was to ensure that Crosby's neck was structurally sound, and that it wasn't playing a part in the ongoing issues that he's been having trying to get healthy.
"We're just trying to take it another step in the right direction," said Brisson.
Crosby missed almost all of the 2011 calendar year recovering from concussion-like symptoms that first occurred in the Jan. 1 Winter Classic meeting with the Washington Capitals. He finally returned to the Penguins' line-up two months into the current season, but played only eight games before a series of collisions in a Dec. 5 game against the Boston Bruins pushed him to the sidelines again.
Ever since, Crosby has sought out a variety of specialists, in the hopes of expediting his recovery, including a session with Ted Carrick, a specialist in chiropractic neurology this past week.
Crosby, who had 12 points in the eight games that he played, was with the Penguins on their trip to Florida last weekend and skated with his teammates for two days, before embarking on this latest round of tests and treatments.
Dr. Bray is no stranger to hockey and in his bio says he gave up his pursuit of hockey after being told that "no one had ever played [hockey]and graduated pre-med from Colgate."
Dr. Bray worked with the U.S. Olympic team at the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver and has served as a consultant with both the NHL's Los Angeles Kings and the NBA's Los Angeles Clippers.