Visits to Independent doctors orchestrated by Sidney Crosby’s camp, reveal Crosby likely had two fractured vertebrae

Frustrations from Crosby’s camp with Pens medical team has been on-going for weeks
The Sidney Crosby situation took another big twist tonight and it involves what appears to be a mis-diagnosis from the Penguins medical staff.
However, there is some good news (optimism) at the end of today’s unexpected developments. First, onto the bad or so called disturbing news at another medical issue for Crosby not being detected by the team:
While Crosby for weeks has searched for answers regarding his motion and balance issues, a fractured vertebrae is believed to have went completely unnoticed by team doctors for several weeks.
Bob McCown of Sportsnet 590 The Fan first reported today that Crosby became concerned about the treatment he was receiving in Pittsburgh, so he saw a specialist in Utah where an MRI indicated that there was an abnormality with Crosby’s C1 and C2 vertebrae.
The C1 and C2 vertebrae are regarded by doctors as the most important ones in the cervical spine.
Crosby according to McCown went to the Utah doctor on the recommendation of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, who is Crosby’s friend.
Crosby’s agent Pat Brisson confirmed those findings to Elliotte Friedman of CBC earlier today, indicating that the possibility of two fractured vertebraes was discovered.
“Sid did suffer a concussion, but last week, the possibility of two fractured vertebrae (C1 and C2) was discovered, ” Brisson said, while also indicating to Friedman that the concussion was suffered from the David Krejci hit.
The Penguins tonight released a statement confirming a neck injury but also saying the injury is fully healed.
The statement says: “The diagnosis of Dr. Robert S. Bray, a neurological spine specialist based in Los Angeles, is that Sidney Crosby had suffered a neck injury in addition to a concussion. Dr. Bray reports that the neck injury is fully healed. Those findings will be evaluated by independent specialists over the next few days. The most important goal all along has been Sidney’s return to full health, and we are encouraged that progress continues to be made.”
The Penguins to no surprise wouldn’t go into detail of what the “neck injury” is but all indications coming out of Crosby’s camp is that they believe based on findings from multiple doctors in the past week, Crosby likely had two fractured vertebrae that were never diagnosed.

When this talk of Crosby possibly having a fractured vertebrae came out today, the Penguins were said to be in shock and surprised of the findings. GM Ray Shero spoke Saturday afternoon following the Board of Governors meetings and told reporters that he did not have any new findings yet from Crosby’s latest doctor visits. “We’ll see, hopefully next week where he is {after} we get the reports from California,” Shero said at the time.
Crosby’s camp has orchestrated several visits to numerous independent doctors, including the reported visit to see the specialist in Utah, and the visits to  Dr. Ted Carrick and Dr. Robert Brey due to their on-going frustrations internally with local and team doctors to pin point the problem. They have taken things into their own hands and for good reason.
Right now though the best thing is to wait until the findings of the third party specialists are revealed but this is not good for the Penguins who appear to have botched another medical issue with their franchise player.
Another intriguing situation developing: Crosby’s camp who are normally very guarded and secretive, are leaking information {on the record} in what is a clear sign of their frustrations with the Penguins.
The good news for Crosby is that despite the mis-diagnosis, there doesn’t be to be any long-term concerns about the vertebrae injuries he suffered, based on doctors findings. He remains cleared to skate.
The Penguins and all parties with knowledge of Crosby’s situation remain highly optimistic that Crosby will be able to return to game action this season and is on the right track, despite suffering a 3rd concussion (Dec 5, 2011 vs Boston) in eleven months and it now being found that he likely had two cracked vertebrae.

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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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