Beau Bennett tested for mumps

PITTSBURGH -- The Penguins are worried Beau Bennett has the mumps, and the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh is also taking precautions after the forward visited with children and staffers last week.

General manager Jim Rutherford said Monday that Bennett has symptoms and the team is awaiting test results before making a diagnosis. Penguins captain Sidney Crosby is out for Monday night's game against Tampa Bay after being diagnosed over the weekend.

Bennett, who has since been quarantined, was one of the Penguins players to visit the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh last week. The hospital released a statement Monday that said children who have not received an age appropriate vaccine and who were in contact with Bennett will be put in isolation and monitored for symptoms.

"We are in the process of identifying patients, families, and staff members who came in contact with Beau last week during the team's annual holiday visit," the hospital said in a release Monday. "The most important thing to note is that mumps is a virus for which there is an extremely effective vaccine. If patients have been vaccinated, we believe there is minimal risk of infection."

Added Rutherford: "They're testing any possible people he may have come in contact with, and they're on top of the situation. We feel bad about that. At that point in time, obviously he is not tested to be positive."

The Penguins have aggressively tried to prevent the disease from spreading by having players and staff undergo testing this month.

Rutherford said Crosby is past the infectious stage and could return to the team later this week, but he will still miss the team's game against Tampa Bay on Monday night.

"He probably could have been here today, but we took an extra day to be cautious, and as far as I know, he will return tomorrow or the next day," Rutherford said.

Crosby was held out of the Penguins' past two games for "precautionary reasons" while the team awaited additional test results. His initial test came back negative, a source told ESPN.com.

The reigning Hart Trophy winner joined the ranks of 11 other players who have contracted the disease, which is usually found in children, and its symptoms include facial swelling and fatigue. Players from the Anaheim Ducks, Minnesota Wild, New Jersey Devils and New York Rangers have been affected.

The Rangers confirmed Sunday that center Derick Brassard has the mumps. He is the second member of the team to be affected by the disease this season.

In light of the mumps situation, the league sent out a memo in conjunction with the NHL's Infection Control Subcommittee last month to provide clubs' medical personnel and trainers with recommended guidelines and protocols to assist in both the treatment and prevention of the disease.

Dr. Greg Wallace, a lead epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, told ESPN.com that considering the lengthy incubation period of the mumps, it's virtually impossible to predict how long this outbreak will affect the league.

The CDC receives anywhere from a couple hundred to a couple thousand reported cases of mumps annually.

The 23-year-old Bennett has struggled to stay healthy during his brief career. He is already out indefinitely while recovering from a lower-body injury against Boston last month.

"In our case, we're going through a period here that's pretty rough," Rutherford said after Crosby's diagnosis. "It's a period that builds character, and if you can get through it, it's going to help you in the long run."

Katie Strang of ESPN.com and The Associated Press contributed to this report.