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Penguins are saying captain Crosby's right wrist may need surgery

| Wednesday, July 9, 2014, 4:33 p.m.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
The Rangers' Chris Kreider is called for holding the Penguins' Sidney Crosby during the first period of Game 7 of their second-round Stanley Cup playoff series Tuesday, May 13, 2014, at Consol Energy Center.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
The Rangers' Dan Girardi defends the Penguins' Sidney Crosby during the second period of Game 6 of their second-round Stanley Cup playoff series Sunday, May 11, 2014, in New York.

Penguins center Sidney Crosby is dealing with right wrist discomfort, though a decision on having surgery to alleviate the problem hasn't been made.

He would prefer to avoid surgery, but if an operation is necessary, will have an arthroscopic procedure soon so that missing the beginning of the 2014-15 season won't be a concern.

The injury is a minor one. According to a source close to Crosby, there is no ligament damage to his right wrist. Nagging pain remains.

“No final decision has been made on surgery at this point,” general manager Jim Rutherford said. “We expect to have a decision by early next week.”

The injury occurred late in the regular season.

His wrist was not the result of a stick foul but instead occurred while the Penguins captain was absorbing a hit.

Crosby was sandwiched into the boards during a game in late March, according to a source close to the 26-year-old center. While receiving the hit, Crosby's wrist took the brunt of the contact.

Many of Crosby's teammates told the Tribune-Review on Wednesday they were aware he was dealing with a sore wrist during the playoffs, but the condition wasn't alarming.

One player referred to the injury as “typical bumps and bruises that you deal with in the playoffs.”

Another source in the organization, however, said Crosby was “wounded” and very much affected by the injury.

Crosby's health was at the center of great speculation during the postseason. He scored only one goal in his 13 playoff games and added eight assists.

The 2014 postseason marked the first time in Crosby's playoff career that he did not register at least one point per game.

Despite his poor numbers, Crosby adamantly said he was not enduring any health problems and that his uncharacteristic struggles were not a result of an injury.

The Penguins dismissed general manager Ray Shero and coach Dan Byslma in the weeks following the second-round exit against the Rangers.

During that series, Bylsma proclaimed Crosby as “healthy” and “ready to go.”

Crosby averaged 2.9 shots on goal per game during the playoffs, only slightly down from the 3.2 shots per game he averaged during the regular season.

However, Crosby was not himself while controlling the puck, frequently having problems receiving passes.

Still, even when Crosby met with the media two days following the loss in Game 7 against the Rangers, he denied dealing with any health problems.

Crosby historically doesn't like using injuries as excuse, as evidenced by him playing with a broken foot against Ottawa in the 2007 playoffs without acknowledging it until the news was later revealed.

He has endured a number of injuries in recent seasons, including missing 101 games during a 15-month span in 2011 and 2012 because of concussion issues.

Crosby also missed 12 games — and a slam dunk MVP award and scoring title — because of a broken jaw suffered in 2013.

The Penguins aren't concerned the injury will affect Crosby moving forward.

“Sid is getting medical advice to determine the best path moving forward,” Rutherford said.

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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