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Latest updates on Crosby, Malkin, Letang and Kunitz.


Some quick hits from the Penguins’ practice at Consol Energy Center on Monday:

= C SIDNEY CROSBY spoke for nearly 10 minutes, confirming reports — — that he will not play in the All-Star Game this weekend. “People say mild concussion, but I don’t know that there really is such thing,” he said. “The good thing is the past 4 to 5 days have been pretty good, but that’s not to say symptoms won’t come back.” Some notable remarks from his media scrum:

* He said his symptoms are down to headaches. “There’s never really a consistent cause,” he said. “That’s the tough part. … They kind of come and go.” Crosby said the recent headaches “haven’t been as intense.”

* He said he neck has “gotten a lot better.” “Whiplash was probably the best way to describe it,” he said of the neck, adding there was no damage to his cervical discs.

* He said he has had no trouble sleeping, but described the recent weeks as “brutal.” “The biggest things are the things you take for granted… just being able to drive is a good step,” he said.

* He said the NHL has not asked him to attend the All-Star Game weekend at Carolina, and that league officials have stressed his recovery should be top priority. “They’ve been great,” he said, adding that former player turned league official BRENDAN SHANAHAN has been in constant contact with him. The advice from Shanahan, who had concussions as a player: “Just be patient with it, and just hearing that with him was pretty good.” 

* Finally, Crosby said he remains unable to physically exert himself and he has no timetable for a return.

Video of Crosby’s scrum will soon be up on the web site:

= C EVGENI MALKIN is not expected to play Tuesday at home against the NY Islanders, but coach DAN BYLSMA said the team has not made a final decision as to whether Malkin will play in the All-Star Game. That will be a joint decision between Bylsma, GM RAY SHERO, Malkin and team doctors. The Penguins believe chances of Malkin (left knee) play in the ASG are very slim. He was scheduled to see a doctor about the injury today.

= LW CHRIS KUNITZ and D KRIS LETANG did not practice. Each player is sick, according to Bylsma. Both are expected to play against the Islanders.

= RW ERIC GODARD returned to practice with teammates. He has not played since Dec. 26 because of a facial injury.






Author: Rob Rossi

Rob Rossi is the lead sports columnist for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He has been called many names, but “Rossi” is the one to which he most often responds. He joined the Trib in November 2002 and was promoted to the columnist role in July 2014. Previously, he had covered the NHL’s Penguins (2006-14) and MLB’s Pirates (2006), while also working on beats associated with the NFL’s Steelers (2005-06) and the NCAA’s Pitt (2004-06). He has won national and local awards for his coverage of youth concussions and athletes’ charities. Also, he is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association executive committee and the Pittsburgh chapter chair. Raised in Crafton and Green Tree and a graduate of West Virginia University, he has covered a Super Bowl, All-Star Games in baseball and hockey, the NCAA basketball tournament and over 100 Stanley Cup playoff games, including the Cup Final twice. Oh, and his sports reporting has led him to brief chats with Mick Jagger and Bruce Springsteen; so that’s pretty cool. He is a regular contributor on TV with WPXI, Root Sports Pittsburgh and TSN. Also, he is the authorized biographer of Penguins star Evgeni Malkin.

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