Posted on November 25, 2011 · Posted in Brain Injury

In what The New York Times called “the most closely chronicled concussion in hockey history,” Pittsburgh Penguin Sidney Crosby came back to the ice this week,

Crosby was benched for roughly 10 1/2 months, recovering from concussions that he suffered Jan. 1 and Jan. 5 this year. As The Times pointed out, it only took Crosby five minutes into his first game back to score a goal against the New York Islanders on Monday.

Crosby doesn’t seem any worse for wear. But we can’t help wondering what will happen when he takes another blow to the head. The effects of concussions are cumulative, as boxers and pro-football players can tell you. At least those that haven’t gotten dementia at a very young age because of their brain injuries.

And take our word for it, Crosby will take more hits to the head. That’s the kind of game hockey is.

Crosby is a superb hockey player. According to The Times, he was the “runaway scoring leader” at the start of the season. Then came the concussions.

On New Year’s night, Cosby was hit in the head by a sideswipe by Washington’s David Steckel. Cosby was hurt but stayed in the game.

Four days later, Cosby was slammed into the boards by Tampa Bay Lightning’s Victor Hedman. Cosby remained in that game.

But here is what The Times said happened the next day.

“Crosby returned home, and the team announced that he had a mild concussion and would be out a few days. His symptoms worsened — headaches, spatial and balance problems, fogginess, in what Crosby would term a ‘roller-coaster’ experience. But he was allowed to begin off-ice workouts in late January and light skating in mid-March. By mid-April, however, he had to quit skating for three more months.”

Crosby returned to training in Septembr, was tested and was finally cleared by doctors Sunday to play again.

But Crosby does not seem to have learned his lession, from the quote he gave to The Times.

“There’s going to be more hits and probaby harder ones, and to know I got out of those ones OK, I think it gave me some reassurance,” he told the paper.

You are benched for nearly a year after several concussions, and that gave you “reassurance”? Really?

About the Author

Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice :: 800-992-9447