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Johnston on Crosby

by Michelle Crechiolo / Pittsburgh Penguins

COLUMBUS – Penguins head coach Mike Johnston said there is no update on captain Sidney Crosby when he met with the media prior to Saturday’s matchup with the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Crosby was held out of the lineup this weekend – Friday against Calgary and tonight in Columbus – as a precautionary measure due to an illness.

Crosby missed practice on Thursday as he met with doctors. He was cleared to skate and rejoined the team for Friday’s morning skate. But medical specialists recommended he not play this weekend after further test results came back on Friday afternoon.

Crosby, whose face was visibly swollen from the illness, has not been diagnosed with the mumps, but will be further tested. A number of NHL players have been diagnosed with mumps in recent weeks.

Johnston was asked whether it was an error to have Crosby at the rink Friday when there is a possibility that he has the mumps and might be contagious.

“No, nobody thought so because nobody thought he had mumps,” Johnston replied. “They had run their tests and didn’t feel that he did, so he was cleared to come to the rink. After that, they decided to take more precautions. I think what’s happened is because of the mumps scare and because of the concern for it, everybody is just taking that extra step and saying ‘OK, let’s hold on, if there’s any suspicion at all, we’re just going to be cautious and we’re going to run all the tests and wait till they come back before we clear anybody.’”

In other injury news, this morning defenseman Olli Maatta (upper body) was retroactively placed on injured reserve.

“They’re still running tests on him as well and trying to get a second opinion with the injury,” Johnston said. “But IR indicates that he’s certainly going to be out for a couple weeks here while they’re running their tests and figuring out where they’re going to go with it.”

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