- Pittsburgh Penguins’ superstar Sidney Crosby is unsure when he’ll be able to return to the lineup as he rehabs from wrist surgery.
- Crosby had surgery on his left wrist September 8 to correct a problem he’s dealt with for seven years.
- Crosby gave the general timeframe for his return at around six weeks.
The Pittsburgh Penguins will open the National Hockey League (NHL) season on October 12 and it looks like they’ll be doing it without team captain Sidney Crosby. Crosby is in the process of rehab following September 8 surgery to repair his left wrist. Although he gave a ‘general’ timeframe of around six weeks he admits that he’s not really certain of a more specific return to action date.
Crosby’s surgery was an effort deal with an issue that had been bothering him for seven years. He described it as a ‘lingering issue’ but one that didn’t limit him much. In the past, it would get somewhat better in the offseason with rest and treatment but he wanted more lasting relief. Before the 2020-2021 season, he had minor surgery that was intended to ‘clean it out and give it some relief’.
This year, however, the wrist didn’t respond as well to offseason therapy as it had in the past. For that reason, he elected to have a more invasive procedure than the one prior to last season:
“The scope kind of served its purpose. I got through last year. I was hoping maybe to get a few more years without having to get anything done. It didn’t work that way.”
“I’ve managed it for a long time. The trainers and doctors have been awesome. … I just couldn’t manage it without getting surgery. That’s kind of the point it got to.”
The reason for the uncertainty concerning his recovery time and return to action is that the procedure isn’t one commonly done for hockey players:
“It’s not something that’s really a common procedure for hockey, so it’s not like I know 10 or 15 guys who’ve had this done and I know what the time frame’s going to be.”
“I think it’s somewhere around six weeks. It could be less. It could be a little more. It’s one of those things that I don’t really have a great gauge.”
At the time of Crosby’s surgery, Penguins’ general manager Ron Hextall said that the timing wasn’t great but it was something that had to be done:
“We all, including Sid, wish we had known this a month or two months ago. That would be great, but we are where we are.”
“At some point, you ramp things up along the way. The conclusion we came to was this procedure was the best way to proceed.”
Assuming a six week recovery time from surgery it would put Crosby out of action for the first four games of the regular season. He would return on October 23 against Toronto Maple Leafs. Crosby is definitely optimistic that he won’t miss an extended period of time:
“Surgery’s always the last resort. The last thing I wanted to do was to have to miss any time, but I think with the timeline, I don’t think it’s going to be anything that’s too lengthy. If there’s some missed games, they’re early on.”
Further complicating the Penguins’ early season situation–they’ll also be without center Evgeni Malkin, who had right knee surgery in June. There aren’t many specifics known about Malkin’s return timeline either though the team has ruled him out entirely for training camp. Hextall did say in general terms that he didn’t expect either Crosby or Malkin to be out for too long but until they return ‘we still have to find ways to win games’.