The Associated Press
PITTSBURGH - Sidney Crosby's agent said there's no timetable for the Pittsburgh Penguins star to return from a concussion, the clearest indication yet that he may not be ready when the NHL season begins in October.
Agent Pat Brisson discussed Crosby's recovery and medical status on the team website, apparently in response to reports out of Canada that say the 24-year-old's offseason training regimen has been shut down because of recurring symptoms from a concussion that have sidelined him since January.
Brisson said that's not true, though he acknowledged Crosby recently visited specialists in Michigan and Georgia and said Crosby's symptoms recurred when he got to 90-percent exertion in his offseason workouts, which were adjusted accordingly.
"We've had him see leading specialists because we want to make sure he gets the best care possible," Brisson said. "The Penguins always encourage their players to get second and third medical opinions and have been very supportive of this. And we've been talking to [general manager] Ray Shero every step of the way."
The Penguins open training camp on Sept. 16 and the regular season on Oct. 6, but Brisson said Crosby's return won't be dictated by those deadlines.
"We always knew this was going to be a progressive recovery - based on how he felt," Brisson said. "With a concussion, there is not a finite recovery period like with a shoulder injury or a knee injury. That's why we've never even set a specific goal for a return date like the start of training camp or Oct. 1 or anything else.
"He will play when he is symptom-free."
Crosby is expected to return to Pittsburgh in a few weeks and will keep working toward a return. Brisson said doctors believe Crosby will make a full recovery, they just can't say how soon.
"I appreciate all the support I've received from my family, friends, teammates and fans and from the entire Penguins organization," Crosby said. "I know they only want the best for my health and for me to be fully ready when I return to game action."
Crosby was injured after taking hard hits in two games in January, including the outdoor Winter Classic game at Heinz Field against the Washington Capitals on Jan. 1, and missed 48 games after last playing Jan. 5.
Crosby participated in his normal offseason workout program, which includes skating and other on- and off-ice activities, before the headaches required unspecified adjustments.
"We wish we could provide more specific details about Sidney's recovery, but a concussion is a different kind of injury," Brisson said. "It's not something you can check with an X-ray. And you can't predict a recovery period. It's all about the way he feels."