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Crosby misses another practice

TAMPA, Fla. -- Three days have passed since center Sidney Crosby last skated, but Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said Monday there is no change in the status of the NHL's most famous concussed superstar.

Crosby did not participate in a morning practice at St. Pete Times Forum prior to Game 3 of a first-round Stanley Cup playoff series against the Tampa Bay Lightning. He has not taken the ice since a morning practice the day of Game 2 on Friday at Consol Energy Center.

"His workout regimen and what he's gone through the last five days continues to be all through the doctor," Bylsma said. "He's been working out off the ice, and that's through communication with the doctor."

The three consecutive days away from the ice mark the longest continuous stretch of missed on-ice workouts since Crosby was cleared for noncontact practices March 30.

Crosby, per team policy regarding injured players, was not available for comment yesterday. A team official confirmed that Crosby was slated for an afternoon off-ice workout, and before the morning practice he kicked around a soccer ball with wingers Matt Cooke and Eric Tangradi.

Crosby has not played since Jan. 5 while recovering from a concussion that he said is his first. His resumption of daily participation in practices was viewed by many within the organization and his camp as a positive sign regarding a potential return during the playoffs.

The Penguins are scheduled to practice today at St. Pete Times Forum. It was not known if Crosby would participate.

He is not yet cleared by doctors for contact participation -- the next step in his recovery.

Dr. Charles Burke, Penguins team physician, is on the trip with the team, as is customary during the playoffs.

Crosby's confidants stressed that his absence from practices the past few days is not a sign that concussion symptoms -- specifically headaches -- have returned.

"He seems to be doing well," agent Pat Brisson said.

Study: Time lost to concussions on rise

TORONTO -- A new study finds that the amount of time NHL players missed because of concussions increased from 1997 to 2004.

The report published Monday in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, the largest and most detailed analysis of concussions in hockey, examined physician reports from seven regular seasons. There were 559 concussions during regular-season games, a rate of 5.8 for every 100 players, or an estimated 1.8 concussions per 1,000 player-hours.

"We found some interesting trends -- one being a gradual increase in post-concussion time loss over the seven years of study," said lead author Dr. Brian Benson of the Sport Medicine Centre at the University of Calgary's faculty of kinesiology. "That may be due to the concussions being severe or physicians being more conservative in their return-to-play decisions."

Data from 2006 to 2011 currently is being analyzed, he said.

Of the 529 cases in which lost time was recorded, 31 percent involved players missing more than 10 days of competition. In 11 percent of those cases, players continued to play and then reported symptoms to medical staff after the game.

Centers had twice the risk of concussion compared with wings or defensemen, Benson said.

-- Associated Press

Photo Galleries

Pens vs. Lightning Game 3 04/18/2011

Pens vs. Lightning Game 3 04/18/2011

The Pittsburgh Penguins defeat the Tampa Bay Lightning Bolts 3-2 Monday, April 18, 2011 at the St. Pete Times Forum.

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