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Crosby speaks from experience on concussions

| Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
Sidney Crosby (left) says that when the time is right, he will offer advice to Evgeni Malkin on how to cope with the concussion Malkin sustained Friday against the Panthers. (Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review)

One of Sidney Crosby's trademarks throughout his career has been taking a perceived weakness — scoring in shootouts, faceoffs — and turning them into undeniable strengths.

He did the same thing with his knowledge of concussions.

Crosby endured a 15-month ordeal with concussion symptoms that robbed him of 102 games. More than two years following the 2011 Winter Classic, when his troubles began, Crosby has become supremely educated regarding concussions, how they develop, how to heal and ultimately how to overcome them.

There once was a time when Crosby didn't concern himself with the dangers — or ways of prevention — of concussions.

Now, he's probably as close to being an expert as any NHL player. So, he'll offer plenty of advice to teammate Evgeni Malkin.

But only when the time is right.

“I just asked him how he's doing,” Crosby said Sunday. “It would probably give him a headache if I started to explain all the stuff I went through.”

Malkin sustained a concussion Friday when a hit from Florida defenseman Erik Gudbranson sent him flying into the end-zone boards, whiplashing the back of his head into the boards.

The Penguins acknowledged late Sunday that Malkin has been diagnosed with a concussion and initially endured a bout with short-term memory loss. Malkin will not travel with the Penguins on their three-game road trip, which begins tonight in Florida.

When he will play again is unknown, but Crosby promises to offer a helping hand.

More than anything, Crosby hopes Malkin never has to endure the 15 months that once plagued Crosby.

“I think that as a teammate, as a friend,” Crosby said, “I just ask him how he's feeling. It's too early for telling him my life story. I think it's just more or less being there for him.”

Josh Yohe is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at jyohe@tribweb.com or via Twitter @JoshYohe_Trib.

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