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Crosby to visit specialist this week

Monday, 01.16.2012 / 6:01 PM / News

By Alan Robinson - NHL.com Correspondent

PITTSBURGH Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby, still bothered by motion and balance issues as he recovers from a recurrence of his concussion symptoms, plans to visit this week with the chiropractor who helped him return to the ice last fall.
 
The Penguins announced Monday that Crosby will meet with Ted Carrick, a chiropractic neurologist who has offices in Marietta, Ga., and Cape Canaveral, Fla. Carrick helped Crosby recover from some of his concussion-related problems, including dizziness and a lack of balance, before training camp began in mid-September.
 
"Sidney has made a lot of progress but he is still having some symptoms, so this is the next step in his recovery," Penguins general manager Ray Shero said in a statement released Monday. "Obviously he won’t be back in the lineup until he is symptom-free."
 
Sidney Crosby
Center - PIT
GOALS: 2 | ASST: 10 | PTS: 12
SOG: 31 | +/-: 7
Crosby was leading the NHL scoring race last season until hard hits in successive games on Jan. 1 and 5, 2010, left him with a vestibular concussion – one that affects a person's ability to balance himself properly and move freely.
 
After spending eight months recovering from concussion-related problems that included headaches, dizziness and a sensitivity to bright lights and loud noises, Crosby went through a full but contact-free training camp. Crosby was not symptom-free until just before camp began, or about the same time he began working with Carrick.
 
The former NHL MVP and scoring champion made a spectacular return with a two-goal, four-point night against the Islanders on Nov. 21 and played in eight consecutive games, only to experience post-concussion problems following a Dec. 5 game against Boston. Those are the only eight games he has played in the last year.
 
Crosby spent more than a month working out lightly before doctors cleared him to resume skating last week. He joined the Penguins during a two-game road swing in Florida, skating on Friday and Saturday, but did not return to Pittsburgh – apparently so he could meet with Carrick.
 
The Penguins said Crosby did not experience any setbacks after skating last weekend, and Crosby said Friday that he expected to meet again with Carrick.
 
As part of his work with Carrick late last summer, Crosby was strapped into a gyroscope chair similar to that which astronauts use to prepare for space travel. The 24-year-old Crosby also wore goggles containing a video camera that tracked his eye movement, and he was put through balance drills.
 
"Sidney has made a lot of progress but he is still having some symptoms, so this is the next step in his recovery. Obviously he won’t be back in the lineup until he is symptom-free." -- Penguins GM Ray Shero
Carrick specializes in a field called chiropractic neurology, which attempts to help concussion victims heal with various exercises but without medication. The field is considered non-traditional, and some medical doctors have said that unorthodox treatments, such as putting a concussion victim into a tumbling chair, could be counterproductive and might actually worsen a patient's condition.
 
During a Sept. 7 news conference with Crosby, Shero and Collins, Carrick said he didn't expect Crosby to experience any further problems related to his concussion.
 
While Crosby isn't ready yet to resume his career, Penguins defenseman Kris Letang – out since Nov. 26 with a concussion – could be back in the lineup sometime this week.
 
Shero said Monday on the Mark Madden show on WXDX-FM in Pittsburgh that Letang had been cleared to practice and play and would take part in a game-day skate Tuesday. However, Letang – who has not practiced since he was hurt -- will not play Tuesday night against Carolina as the Penguins try to win their third in a row.
 
Letang, who has 3 goals and 16 assists in 22 games, broke his nose and sustained a concussion while absorbing a hit from the Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty on Nov. 26 in Montreal. Pacioretty received a three-game suspension for delivering an illegal hit to the head.
 

I've been getting frustrated lately, and the only thing keeping me sane was the team winning and other people stepping up and scoring. Then you just kind of let it go and realize you can end the series with one shot, that frustration goes away for a brief moment, and that's what happened.

— Montreal forward Max Pacioretty after scoring the series-winner in Game 4 -- his first career playoff goal -- to eliminate the Lightning and send the Canadiens into the second round