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Penguins captain Crosby offers support to teammate Letang

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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Penguins center Sidney Crosby has answered concussion questions for months, but now he's the one asking them. Crosby said Tuesday that he asks Kris Letang almost daily about his recovery. Letang has been out since Feb. 29 with concussion symptoms.

"It's hard not to (ask)," Crosby said. "You care about how guys are doing. It's not something where you're prying. You're not asking 15 questions, but you ask how he's doing each day and hopefully see an improvement."

Letang was injured when hit in the head by Dallas left wing Eric Nystrom. Letang had suffered a concussion in November, but Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said Tuiesday that this injury was not yet diagnosed as another concussion. Letang participated Tuesday in light off-ice workouts.

"He's feeling better, doing well," Bylsma said, "but still having symptoms in some areas." The All-Star defenseman missed nearly two months after a Nov. 26 hit by Montreal's Max Pacioretty left him concussed. "I'm sure he's tired of me asking how he feels," Crosby said. "I'm just trying to be supportive. I know what he's going through.

"I think he's had a great attitude about it. Guys who have gone through this, I think you get to learn what's important, what you need and how you treat it. He knows his body well, and I'm sure he knows what he's got to do to get back. Hopefully in a matter of time he'll be back out there with us."

> > A statue honoring Penguins Hall of Fame owner Mario Lemieux will be unveiled at noon Wednesday outside Consol Energy Center. The artwork, titled "Le Magnifique," will stand at the Trib Total Media gate, which faces Centre Avenue and Civic Arena. The free event is open to the public.

> > Injured backup goalie Brent Johnson, out since suffering an undisclosed injury Feb. 23, returned to practice. Bylsma said Johnson was not fully recovered but will continue practicing. Marc-Andre Fleury was given the day off, so Johnson and rookie goalie Brad Thiessen handled practice.

> > Missing for maintenance days were Fleury, Evgeni Malkin, Steve Sullivan, Brooks Orpik and Jordan Staal. Also missing were Letang, Dustin Jeffrey (illness) and Deryk Engelland (lower-body injury).

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