Starkey: Crosby mystery thickens
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Progress. Symptoms. Call me crazy, but I don't see those words as compatible when it comes to Sidney Crosby's concussion recovery.
Yet, there they were again, in an email response I received from Crosby's agent, Pat Brisson, on Wednesday. The question seemed simple enough: What are the symptoms Crosby has been experiencing this summer?
Headaches• Dizziness• Balance issues?
Penguins general manager Ray Shero was asked the same question Monday. His mind-boggling response: "I don't know the exact symptoms."
What• If the man running the franchise's day-to-day operations — the man responsible for making contingency plans if Crosby is unable to start the season — doesn't know, who does?
I figured Brisson was a good bet. I asked him to identify the symptoms.
Brisson's reply: "Sidney progressed a lot this summer. As Ray mentioned, he had occasional symptoms here and there. Camp is in a month. We will know better then."
So the mystery continues. Crosby's ordeal has been shrouded in haziness since the moment he was leveled by David Steckel near the end of the second period of the Winter Classic.
Start with the still-unanswered question of why team physician Charles Burke — who was stitching a cut on Matt Cooke's face when Crosby went down and was not aware of the hit — was not summoned to take even a cursory look at Crosby before the third period.
That was seventh months ago.
I don't mean to be an alarmist, but how can one not be alarmed at events of the past week?
First came a tweet from Josh Rimer, who produces "NHL Home Ice" on Sirius radio. Rimer, from what I gather, is well respected in hockey circles. He tweeted that three sources told him Crosby 'won't be ready 2 start the season.'
If the claim were bogus, you figure somebody from Crosby's circle would have shot it down immediately. Nobody did. Certainly not Crosby, who has not been heard from since April and is only sporadically in touch with team officials.
Shero hardly crushed the claim. He lauded Crosby's "progress" and said Crosby has maintained a normal offseason workout routine, but he also spoke of "symptoms" and said his star player wouldn't be "pushed" for the opening of training camp Sept. 16 or the season opener Oct. 6 at Vancouver.
Go back nearly four months, to the end of the Tampa Bay series, and ask yourself a question: Was this the Crosby update you were expecting to hear in mid-August?
This is by far the biggest local sports story of the summer, though you wouldn't know it from the tepid reaction around town. It's as if people don't want to acknowledge the very real possibility that Crosby's issues could keep him off the ice indefinitely.
Back on April 30, when Crosby revealed he'd suffered a setback, Shero said, "The great news is, he's got all kinds of time on his side right now."
That no longer is the case. Camp is right around the corner.
I feel frightened for Crosby. I can't help but wonder if his brain will be the equivalent of Mario Lemieux's back — an injury issue that never really goes away. On the other hand, things can change quickly when it comes to concussions. An athlete can wake up symptom-free one day, as Minnesota's Pierre-Marc Bouchard did last year, and resume a high level of play.
Of course, Bouchard had missed 112 games on account of a single hit. His comeback was halted early in the 2009-10 season when flu-like symptoms were linked to post-concussion syndrome.
In St. Louis, the Blues have announced that winger David Perron will not be ready for camp and has not even begun workouts. Perron was concussed last November on a hit from San Jose's Joe Thornton.
Crosby, at least, is able to work out. But if intense exercise is triggering symptoms, how could the Penguins be comfortable clearing him for contact in less than a month?
Chalk it up as one more question with no clear answer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Police officer reported wounded in New Florence; suspect at-large
- Central Catholic wins 5th WPIAL football title
- WPIAL Class AAA notes: Title games draw 16,500 to Heinz Field
- Zatkoff’s, Malkin’s heroics not enough as Oilers down Penguins in shootout
- Four downs: Steelers might still be Adams’ best bet
- Funding highway bill atop Rep. Shuster’s agenda
- Aliquippa wins 16th WPIAL title, ends South Fayette’s 44-game winning streak
- Steelers find success vs. NFC
- Steelers notebook: Brown downplays possible matchup against Seahawks’ Sherman
- Robert Morris defeats Mississippi Valley State for 1st victory of season
- Anti-drug agencies find key ally in battling overdoses: Addicts