Crosby Out 6-8 Weeks; Malkin Selected as Sub for All-Star Game

Sidney Crosby was re-evaluated by team doctors on Tuesday and they confirmed the high-ankle sprain injury.  Unfortunately, the prognosis for recovery is worse than originally projected with Crosby now expected to miss 6-8 weeks of play.  That would put his return in early to mid-March, at best.  That means that the Penguins will have to try and maintain a playoff position without the help of their best player.  If they can keep their playoff hopes alive, Crosby should return just in-time to help the final push and prep for the first round. 

“I was hoping 3-4 weeks would be the most.  It doesn’t look like it’ll be like that.  We’ll see how fast I heal,” said Crosby. “This is probably something that’s tougher mentally than anything I have probably had to deal with.  I don’t think you want to get caught looking at a date and then you get to that date and you’re not ready to go.  That can definitely hurt the way you feel about things.  For me, I am just going to take it a day at a time, that’s the best way to do it and make sure I am doing everything possible to get back and hope that my body heals as fast as possible.”  So he will focus on those things that he can do to make his re-entry in 6-8 weeks as smooth as possible.  He noted that coming back too soon could be detrimental, whereas a tweak could put him back at square 1 in terms of recovery time, and noted the troubles that Max Talbot has experienced.       

Crosby inidcated that he will likely wear a cast-like air-boot for the next couple of weeks to eliminate stress on the injured ankle.  He also plans to work upper body and core strength exercises to maintain his strength, and will work on puck handling skills to maintain his “feel for the puck”. 

As expected, the injury will result in Crosby missing Sunday’s NHL All-Star Game in Atlanta.  He was the leading vote-getter amongst fans for the 2nd straight year.  Today the NHL announced that Evgeni Malkin will replace Crosby in the All-Star line-up, righting what many fans felt was an oversight in not previously selecting Malkin.  Malkin has the most points of any non All Star selectee.  In a statement released by the Penguins, Malkin said “I am honored to be selected to the All-Star Game and have the opportunity to play with some of the best players in the NHL.  It is unfortunate that Sidney will not be able to participate, however, I look forward to playing in the game and representing the Penguins organization.”

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