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Bennett Out Six Weeks

by Michelle Crechiolo / Pittsburgh Penguins

Penguins head coach Mike Johnston said Saturday that winger Beau Bennett will be out six weeks after sustaining a lower-body injury in practice on Friday. He will not require surgery or any other procedure.

“As you saw what happened yesterday in practice, it was just one of those unfortunate things and that’s our timeline with him,” Johnston said.

Bennett had to be helped off the ice by teammates near the end of the skate after going down during a drill.

“When he was skating across the ice, (Kasperi) Kapanen’s skate clipped him on the back of the heel and so he spun around in an awkward manner and went down on the ice,” Johnston said when explaining what happened.

It’s yet another tough break for the Penguins’ 2010 first-round draft pick, who was healthy and ready to go entering his third professional season after being hindered by various injuries for the past three years – dating back to his time at the University of Denver.

Lower-body and wrist issues limited Bennett to just 21 games played in 2013-14. He spent the entire summer rehabbing following offseason wrist surgery, and the hard work he put in was noticeable as he was arguably the Penguins’ best player throughout the first week of training camp.

To get sidelined after all of that is an incredibly frustrating and upsetting situation for the 22-year-old, but Johnston said Bennett is back to focusing on what he can control – and that’s getting ready for when he can get back on the ice.

“When he left the ice, he was thinking ‘oh no, here I go again, another injury,’” Johnston said. “Really, you look at the injuries that he’s had and it’s not like he (can) battle through things. There’s certain injuries that are unavoidable, and that one there, he got clipped in practice and went down awkwardly.

“So I just said, hey, you’ve got six weeks. He’ll probably be, as we do with our trainers, back working out, skating. I told him get in the video sessions, get yourself part of the team, be ready to go. We’re looking at the schedule at how many games he’s going to miss. So at least his mindset now is on when his next game is going to be, not that ‘here we go again.’”

CROSBY TO PLAY MONDAY

Johnston said that Sidney Crosby will play Monday in Minnesota. He was taken out of the lineup for team’s exhibition game on Saturday against Columbus due to the death of his grandmother.

"I talked to 'Sid' today, obviously these situations are really difficult for individuals," Johnston said. "And as an organization, you’re always going to side on the player making sure his family is taken care of. But I talked to Sid a few minutes ago and the funeral arrangements are being made. He’s expecting to be here tomorrow sometime and then play on Monday."

Crosby missed the first three preseason games due to injury.

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