Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby is expected to undergo arthroscopic surgery on his right wrist at some point this week according to a report from Dave Molinari of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The center reportedly attempted to rehab the injury and play through it, but the damage hindered his performance.
An individual close to Crosby, who requested anonymity, said the surgical procedure "is not major, but you can't play the same way" with the kind of injury Crosby had.
The NHL MVP is not expected to miss any time next season, the source said. Crosby decided to have the operation only after therapy failed to correct the problem.
It is not known precisely when or how he was injured.
Crosby repeatedly denied that he was playing hurt when addressing the media in the aftermath of the Penguins' postseason collapse at the hands of the New York Rangers.
Crosby scored just one goal and had eight assists in 13 playoff contests, leading to questions about his health. He had just three points in the second-round series against Rangers and didn't look quite right throughout that series.
It's hardly a surprise that Crosby would deny that he was injured publicly. Knowing the polarity of opinions on the league's best player, it would have likely been widely (and unfairly) decried as a convenient excuse for poor performance. In all likelihood, the new information isn't going to change a lot of folks' opinions on Crosby's playoff performance and his reported injury may still be widely (and unfairly) decried as nothing more than an excuse.
Considering the fact that the Penguins' early ouster cost both the general manager and head coach their jobs this offseason, Crosby's wrist injury and subsequent performance below Crosby's lofty standards was a rather significant blow. It also makes one wonder how different things could have been had Crosby been healthy.