Sidney Crosby to miss All-Star Weekend

Sidney Crosby will not attend the NHL's All-Star Game this weekend as he continues to recover from a concussion, the Pittsburgh Penguins said.

Penguins general manager Ray Shero said Crosby is making progress in his recovery but is not yet symptom-free.

"The Penguins organization has decided that he will not attend the NHL All-Star Weekend and instead will continue to relax and recuperate in the hopes of returning to our lineup soon," Shero said.

Crosby, the top vote-getter for Sunday's All-Star Game in Raleigh, N.C., has missed nine games and has not yet been cleared to return to physical activity.

Crosby said there's no timetable for his return, according to an interview transcript posted on the team's website. He's still experiencing headaches and said the time off the ice trying to recover has been "brutal."

"You sit around and can't do anything," he said Monday, according to the Penguins' website. "Early on, I could barely watch TV. I've been able to do that more. It's the things you take for granted and do every day, like driving. ... Just getting through that without getting a headache or feeling a little off are the things you take for granted."

NHL official and former player Brendan Shanahan was supportive in conversations, Crosby said, and also told him that his health was the most important thing.

"He's someone who's actually dealt with a concussion, so it's good to talk to him and hear about what he went through," Crosby said of his conversations with Shanahan, according to the team's website.

What did Shanahan tell him? "Just be patient," Crosby said. "I guess just hearing that from him -- someone who just played, he's not too far removed from playing -- was good.

"[Shanahan] was pretty clear in just making sure that my health was first and foremost. That was great to hear."

Shero said Crosby is honored to have been selected by the fans as an All-Star and noted that Crosby attended All-Star Weekend two years ago, despite being sidelined with a knee injury.

"However, in this situation -- when he has not even skated for two and a half weeks and still has not been cleared to resume physical activity -- we think it's best for him to focus totally on his recovery," Shero said.

Crosby absorbed a blindside hit to the head from Capitals forward David Steckel during the Jan. 1 Winter Classic outdoors game, and said he
initially felt only neck soreness. He felt worse by Jan. 5, but played in that night's game against Tampa Bay, during which he was driven
into the boards headfirst by Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman.