Dr. David Chao: Sidney Crosby ‘Upper Body Injury’ A Significant Concern

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Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby left Wednesday’s loss to the New York Rangers in the second period with an apparent head injury. In the NHL injury reporting system, a concussion is lumped into the terminology “upper body injury”.

A concussion would be a significant concern for the Penguins, even with their 3-2 series lead. Crosby has an extensive concussion history, going back the last decade, including essentially missing two seasons.

Certainly, he will go through the evaluation protocol. He is said to be flying home with the team, but the coach would not say much more. Even without hospitalization, this could be an extended absence for Crosby. The effects of concussions are cumulative, and it is doubtful that he can be sped through any return-to-play protocol.

Fortunately, he has not had a concussion in the last five years, but his doctors will be rightfully cautious. The Penguins need to prepare to challenge for the Stanley Cup without their 34-year-old star.

Written by Dr. David Chao

David Chao, MD -- known digitally as Pro Football Doc -- is an expert contributor for Outkick. Chao spent 17 seasons as the team doctor for the San Diego Chargers (1997-2013) and is part of the medical team at OASIS in San Diego where he treats and specializes in orthopedic sports injuries, working with high-profile professional athletes from the NFL, NBA, and MLB.

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