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Sidney Crosby and the 100-percent headache

Sidney Crosby told the media on Monday that his absence from the Pittsburgh Penguins lineup will extend for more than the two games the team said he'd miss last week.

In fact, he said there's "no timetable"; hearing those words from Crosby again is nightmarish.

Crosby said he did an ImPACT test that was "pretty good" and in no way comparable to the results he saw in January, when two blows to the head kept him out until November. As he said — and to which Chris Pronger and the Flyers can attest — those concussion tests aren't the be-all, end-all; symptoms and results can change with time.

Via the Penguins, Crosby said he's felt some post-concussion symptoms:

"I skated the following day after with exertion. I just didn't feel right. After talking with everyone I figured it was better to be cautious and not take any chances. That's where I'm at right now.

"I've been doing light exertion stuff and seeing how that goes. It's that whole (recovery) routine again, but hopefully not as long. When I wasn't doing something for 6, 7 months that process was a little longer. Hopefully, that's not the case here."

Crosby also confirmed that it wasn't the collision with Chris Kunitz that put him on the shelf. So the focus returns to the this hit by David Krecji of the Boston Bruins:

Crosby's threshold for a return to the lineup is feeling 100 percent.

Said Coach Dan Bylsma, via Josh Yohe of the Tribune Review:

"It's frustrating for Sid. Sid knows his body better than anyone else. He's not feeling 100 percent. He'll return when he is 100 [percent]."

Lambert was correct when he wrote that we all, for the most part, pushed away thoughts that this could happen again after Crosby lit up the NHL in his return. At the first sign of trouble, he was going to be out of the lineup again, and indefinitely.

Which leads to two uncomfortable questions: Will he ever feel 100 percent again, given that one knock to the head has knocked him out of the lineup; and if that's the case, what does it mean for his own expectations and/or the rest of his NHL career?

With the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame inductions this week, Pat LaFontaine's name has come up a few times. If you haven't read it, Brainline.org has a harrowing look at his career of multiple concussions (.pdf). It lends insight to the competitive spirit vs. the injured brain; the frustration that accompanies concussion symptoms; and, perhaps most of all, how lucky a player like Sidney Crosby is to play in an era where concussion protocol and treatment is advanced and attentive where it was confused and ineffective during LaFontaine's days.

Said LaFontaine to the NY Times recently on Crosby:

"It's a tough thing to go through head injuries and concussions. The only silver lining is that your perspective on everything changes, and your appreciation level for the littlest things goes way up. I remember not knowing if I'd ever play again, and then going back and playing. I never appreciated the game so much. I reveled in everything — practice, trips, being on the ice, making plays, assisting, scoring, helping a team win. Everything meant so much, because it was taken away from you and you never knew if you were going to have a chance to do it at that level again."

Crosby had that all back for a moment. To have it in doubt again must be devastating.

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