No news is good news; or is it?
Since colliding with Chris Kunitz on Dec. 5 while playing against the Boston Bruins, Penguins fans have been on the edge of their seats hoping, wishing, praying that Sidney Crosby's health would not take a turn for the worse. He looked bruised and shaken in that collision with his teammate, but he had to be tested at some point. The fact that he returned gave hope, but the news that shortly followed has done nothing more but lead to disappointing thoughts.
All we have to work with at this point is the label of "concussion-like symptoms." Given the infamous silence of trainers throughout the league, it's hard to say whether those symptoms have been improving, sustaining or degrading over the past month.The hope is his health is on the up and up, but what are we to say for sure?
Which is why the silence tends to lead toward the pessimistic side, evidence be damned. It took Crosby 11 months to get back onto the ice and even then it was deemed cautious. It took only eight games for him to rack up 12 points. There were talks of his "Lemieux-like return" and perhaps even his chances of chasing down the scoring title.
But now? We're left to wonder. How healthy is Crosby? How soon - this year, next year, late next year - can we expect him back?
I'm confident that if we don't see him back around the one-month mark, when the Pens face the Rangers on January 6, we can expect a statement from the team.
We can all sit here and wax poetic about concussions in hockey and the dangers of returning to see. Some would even go so far as to providing detailed charts and graphs regarding head injuries and maybe even medical journals regarding brain trauma.
But I'm no doctor, and frankly I've heard the word "concussion" more times over the past year than any other word. So I won't pretend to know left from right or up from down when it comes to medical terminology. All I know is the league is missing a tremendous talent, the Penguins are missing their captain and the window of optimism regarding Crosby's career health appears to be shrinking more and more with each passing day.