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Penguins' Crosby expands treatment team

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By Josh Yohe
Thursday, Dec. 29, 2011

More than three weeks after his last game, Penguins star Sidney Crosby continues to experience concussion-like symptoms and has broadened his treatment team to include the Steelers' team neurosurgeon.

Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said Wednesday that Crosby is only able to exercise lightly because of headaches. General manager Ray Shero reiterated that Crosby won't play until his symptoms are gone.

Crosby hasn't played since Dec. 5.

Michael Collins, a clinical psychologist who heads the UPMC Sports Concussion Program, continues to oversee Crosby but has been joined by Dr. Joseph Maroon, the Steelers' neurosurgeon and WWE consultant who helped develop the ImPACT test widely used by professional and college teams to determine concussion severity.

Maroon recently was part of a medical team that oversaw the Flyers' Chris Pronger, who is out for the season with a concussion.

Dr. Chip Burke, the Penguins' team physician, is the only person permitted to clear Crosby for game action.

Shero declined to comment when asked if Crosby has visited Ted Carrick, a chiropractor based in Florida. Carrick worked with Crosby in August.

"I can tell you that Sidney isn't going to come back until he is 100 percent healthy," Shero said. "If he's having symptoms of any kind, we're not going to let him back into the lineup. It's that simple."

Two sources in the Penguins' organization said they expect Crosby to play again this season.

Crosby missed the second half of last season after sustaining a concussion in early January. He returned to game action Nov. 21 and played in eight games.

The Penguins announced Crosby had a headache after a Dec. 7 practice. A day later, Bylsma said, there was no indication of a concussion.

Crosby passed an ImPACT test that week and was said to be dealing with "slight headaches."

Almost a month later, Crosby remains out indefinitely. Bylsma declined to say whether Crosby has taken another ImPACT test.

Crosby participated in light workouts during most of his time away from hockey last season.

Notes: Bylsma said defenseman Kris Letang, out for a month with a concussion, is "feeling better." Also, defenseman Robert Bortuzzo, who sustained a concussion when the Penguins and Flyers met Dec. 8, has been exercising and will skate for the first time today. ... Defenseman Paul Martin has a chance to play Thursday night following an injury suffered Dec. 16 in Ottawa.

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