(Reuters) – Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby will miss his team’s season opener this week as he recovers from his latest concussion, the defending Stanley Cup champions said on Wednesday.
Crosby, one of the NHL’s top players, was diagnosed with his third concussion in six years on Monday.
He was wearing a yellow non-contact jersey during practice on Wednesday and was later ruled out for Pittsburgh’s season-opener versus the Washington Capitals on Thursday.
“He’s obviously feeling well enough that he wants to join the team for practice and get involved in some of the flow drills,” said Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan. “We’ll take it step-by-step and we’re following the guidance of our medical team, and we’ll go from there.”
There is no timetable for Crosby’s return.
Crosby, who has been forced to sit out lengthy spells of time due to concussion in the past, suffered his latest setback after colliding with a team mate during practice last week.
Prior to the injury, Crosby had been expected to have one of the best years of his career.
The 29-year-old forward was named the most valuable player of the NHL playoffs during Pittsburgh’s championship run last season and then led Canada on an undefeated run to a World Cup of Hockey title last month.
The Penguins will unveil their championship banner prior to Thursday’s home game.
“It’s a game you want to be a part of, but at the same time, I think I’ve spent more than enough time with being in this situation,” said Crosby.
“So, I think you understand you have to be patient and you have to make sure you listen to your body. If you’re ready, you’re ready. If not, you don’t take any chances.”
(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Toby Davis)