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Insider Only Sidney Crosby and GM Ray Shero Presser tidbits on independent specialist revealing Crosby has “soft-tissue” neck injury

The Pittsburgh Penguins revealed today that an independent specialist found that Sidney Crosby has a soft-tissue injury of the neck, that could be causing neurological symptoms. The Penguins though indicate that the independent specialist found no evidence of past or present fracture to Crosby’s vertebrae. Previous specialists who recently evaluated Crosby believed there was a possibility that Crosby had a fracture to C1 and C2 vertebrae.
Dr. Robert Bray’s diagnosis last week revealed a fracture but Bray wanted to get a second opinion, according to GM Ray Shero. Shero during a joint press conference with Sidney Crosby, said all doctors involved were consulted in a conference call and all agreed that there was no fracture. The Penguins and Crosby hope that they have now identified the problem, 13 months later, although Shero says they can’t pinpoint when the neck injury happened.
Bray last week treated Crosby with an injection to alleviate swelling in the C1-2 joint of the neck. Crosby said he hopes that he doesn’t have to get another shot and will currently under-go therapy.
Presser Tidbits from Ray Shero and Sidney Crosby
Pens Can’t Pinpoint the injury:“As of right now from consulting with doctors here the past couple days, It’s hard to pinpoint when this could have happened.” It’s been identified and been worked on and that’s the good news ” — GM Ray Shero said.
On Identifying Injury: “I think the biggest thing to take from it is that it’s something I can work on, get my neck worked on – ” Sidney Crosby said.
On this type of neck injury being linked to concussions: “From what I’ve been told, something pretty commonly linked to concussions” – Sidney Crosby said.
If the neck injury is currently the issue and Crosby actually doesn’t have a concussion: “I hope so, ” Crosby said.
On whether Crosby supports Pens medical staff: “I think the team’s been very encouraging and there’s not a lot of answers with this stuff and I think they’ve been very encouraging, ” – Sidney Crosby said.

Crosby on health: “It’s been pretty good. Still dealing with some symptoms. Still not where I want to be. Encouraging to be skating.

Pens Offical Statement on Crosby’s Neck Injury

An independent specialist contacted to review recent medical tests taken on Sidney Crosby found no evidence of a past or present neck fracture but verified that Crosby is suffering from a soft-tissue injury of the neck, that could be causing neurological symptoms.
Dr. Alexander Vaccaro is a spinal trauma expert at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia and co-director of the Spinal Cord Center at Thomas Jefferson University. He is past president of the American Spinal Injury Association.
Crosby’s agent, Pat Brisson, along with Penguins owner Mario Lemieux and CEO David Morehouse traveled Monday morning to Philadelphia, where Vaccaro reviewed a CAT Scan and MRI taken last week by Dr. Robert S. Bray in Los Angeles. Bray diagnosed a neck injury.
Bray has treated Crosby with an injection to alleviate swelling in the C1-2 joint of the neck and will be overseeing his progression with therapists.
Doctors say the symptoms of a soft-tissue neck injury are similar to concussion symptoms.
Vaccaro, Bray and UPMC doctors all agree that Crosby is safe, the injury is treatable, and he will return to action when he is symptom-free.
Bylsma today on support of Pens Medical Team
“I feel, Sidney feels, he’s gotten every possible support from the Penguins and the Penguins’ medical staff in the situation he’s in, to try to find an answer to where he’s at, what his condition is, what is his best road for recovery, ” Bylsma said. “He’s gotten every available support from both the Penguins and from our medical staff and going other places and getting medical treatment. That’s how we feel about it and I know Sidney feels the same way.”

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William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at

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