Crosby returns to practice after concussion scare

BY JOHN SCOTT, contributor

Sidney Crosby, a former Stanley Cup champion and MVP, returned to the Pittsburgh Penguins with a full practice on Monday. Crosby has been out since Jan. 5 with concussion symptoms and neck injuries.

Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby has missed almost two months of the NHL season with concussion symptoms. Photo by: exploitme / Flickr

Little did Crosby know that the hit he sustained during the 2011 Winter Classic and the hit the game after would affect his career tremendously. During the 2011 Winter Classic, Dave Steckel accidentally collided with Crosby. Then, instead of sitting out the next game against the Tampa Bay Lightning, Crosby decided to play. Probably not the smartest thing to do, playing with concussion-like symptoms. During the game, he took a hit from behind into the boards from Tampa Bay’s defenseman Victor Hedman.

“I didn’t like them,” Crosby told reporters about the two hits, “you talk about head shots and dealing with them, that’s been something that’s been a pretty big point of interest from general managers and players.”

Taking both of those collisions gave Crosby a severe concussion, causing him to skip the next few games.

Few knew these hits would impact his career a year later. During the Penguins’ game against the Boston Bruins on Dec. 5, 2011, Crosby took another hit, which made him sit out with another concussion.

This concussion was extreme and made him sit out for almost a month. Around Jan. 20, Crosby sought treatment from a neurological spine specialist in California. He had a soft tissue injury in his neck from all the concussions he suffered during his career. After seeing the specialist, it was reported he was feeling better and the swelling in his neck has gone down.
And Crosby is back up skating with his team.

“As soon as I am symptom free, hopefully I’ll be out there. That’s where I want to be,” Crosby stated about returning to practice.

The main reason Crosby started skating again was because his two line mates, Jordan Staal and Simon Despres, were recovering from their injuries and returned skating as well. Basically Crosby didn’t want to feel lonely.

“It’s just good to be out there,” he said. “I wasn’t going to skate by myself if I didn’t have to.”

Although Crosby is either loved, or hated, the kid still has talent. He captained the Stanley Cup Champions when he was only 19 and won the Gold Medal for Canada in the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver. Nobody wants to see such talent go to waste by having his career ended in his early 20s due to concussions. He is a great player, a great guy, and will hopefully return to the Penguins line-up fully symptom free in short time.

John Scott is a junior at Cody High School and longtime youth hockey player in the Wyoming region.

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