Crosby didn’t fol­low talk about his health

Star focused on the Stan­ley Cup while oth­ers dis­cussed con­cus­sion is­sues

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS - THE CANA­DIAN PRESS

Sid­ney Crosby says he wasn’t pay­ing at­ten­tion to those ques­tion­ing whether he should con­tinue play­ing hockey af­ter suf­fer­ing an­other con­cus­sion dur­ing this spring’s Na­tional Hockey League play­offs.

Speak­ing to re­porters at his an­nual hockey camp in his home­town of Cole Har­bour, N.S., Crosby says he was too focused on cap­tur­ing an­other Stan­ley Cup for his Pitts­burgh Pen­guins to worry about out­side opin­ions on his health.

Crosby has suf­fered sev­eral con­cus­sions dur­ing his ca­reer, in­clud­ing one dur­ing Game 3 of the sec­ond round of the post-sea­son in May.

He missed one game be­fore re­turn­ing for Game 5, prompt­ing ques­tions from con­cus­sion ex­perts and at least one for­mer player about whether he should con­sider re­tire­ment. But Crosby said he “didn’t hear that.”

“I don’t re­ally read or lis­ten to that stuff dur­ing the play­offs,” he said.

The Pen­guins went on to win a sec­ond straight Cup, de­feat­ing the Nashville Preda­tors in the fi­nal in six games.

Crosby said he un­der­stands why con­cus­sions gen­er­ate so much con­tro­versy.

“It’s a hot topic,” he said. “That’s the na­ture of it right now.”

Crosby said more in­for­ma­tion on how to deal with head in­juries is be­com­ing avail­able all the time, even com­pared to when he suf­fered his first con­cus­sion about six years ago.

“There wasn’t a pro­to­col. There wasn’t a lot of in­for­ma­tion out there as far as how to han­dle them.

“They’re such a tough in­jury in terms of symp­toms, and ev­ery­body is dif­fer­ent,” he said.

“I think as play­ers, we’ve be­come more ed­u­cated . ... You have to con­tinue to lis­ten to your body to make sure be­fore you go back that you’re good to go.”

Crosby said long sea­sons mean there is not much re­cov­ery time dur­ing the sum­mer months.

“You have to find out how to man­age that.

“I started back train­ing this week so it’s ex­cit­ing to get back at it but at the same time, you re­al­ize you don’t have a lot of time,” he said.

Crosby’s an­nual hockey camp for boys and girls age 9-12 ben­e­fits his foun­da­tion for un­der­priv­i­leged kids.

Crosby stopped by the camp Wed­nes­day to help coach some young play­ers, don­ning a navy blue jacket and ball cap, both em­bla­zoned with his hockey school’s logo.

Sid­ney Crosby: Focused on win­ning.

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