Home > Penguins > Sidney Crosby is the Ferrari of Christmas Trees

Sidney Crosby is the Ferrari of Christmas Trees

There were a lot of things said today at the #Sidecision. Much of this stuff we already knew, much of it we didn’t. Let’s take a look at what we learned.

1) Sid suffered a very specific kind of concussion. We all know that concussions vary in severity. We all know that some players recover from concussions faster than others. What we didn’t know was that Sid’s concussion injured his vestibular system. The vestibular system, according to Wikipedia, ” . . . contributes to balance in most mammals and to the sense of spatial orientation, is the sensory system that provides the leading contribution about movement and sense of balance.”

What this means, according to Dr. Ted Carrick, is that Sid had trouble knowing where he was in space, and where space was around him. So, for instance, while in reality Sid might have been three feet away from the net, he felt as though he was six feet away. Clearly this is an issue for a professional hockey player.

What Dr. Carrick, along with Sid’s main doctor, Michael “Mickey” Collins, have been doing is re-training his brain to recognize things for being where they actually are, and for him to realize where he actually is in relation to those things. At this point he has more or less achieved that goal. He is no longer experiencing vestibular symptoms. The problem is that he spent many months after this injury with a distorted sense of space and distance. As a result, he has become acclimated to treating the world in this distorted way. He now needs time to reacclimate himself to perceiving the world as it actually is.

2) When Crosby suffered his second concussion, Dr. Collins knew it would be a long recovery. In spite of the fact that Dan Bylsma spoke to the media the day after the Victor Hedman hit and told us that he expected Sid to miss about a week, as soon as Collins saw images of Crosby’s brain he knew Sid would miss a long period of time. Trauma to the vestibular system typically requires more treatment and takes longer to recover from than concussions in other parts of the brain. As has been established time and again, concussions are frustrating as hell to deal with because there are no outward signs of injury. A concussion effecting the vestibular system is even more frustrating because, as Dr. Collins established, the recovery time is so much longer.

3) Crosby was evaluated by Dr. Collins yesterday, and Collis said that Sid has made “exceptional progress,” and that, “[Crosby’s] data is approaching normal limits and I am happy with what I see.” Dr. Carrick said that when he first began seeing Crosby, the player was unable to handle even the slightest perturbation to his body or surroundings, meaning that he was easily knocked off balance by even the slightest nudge or movement in the ground beneath him. Now, Crosby is able to, “tolerate great perturbations.” Crosby himself acknowledged that today is “the best [he’s] felt” since January.

4)  Dr. Collins said that Crosby is in “reconditioning mode.” He is, for all intent and purpose, healthy. He experiences the occasional headache, specifically when he reaches 90 percent exertion. But for the average human he is fine. He could live a normal, healthy life from today on if he never played hockey again. His brain will eventually heal. “The brain wants to heal,” Dr. Collins said. It just takes time. Sid is working now on getting his body back into shape.

When he is able to absorb contact, the doctors will know. They do not know when they will know, Everyone who spoke today made at least one reference to the idea of Crosby not returning until he is 100 percent healthy.

5) And Sidney Crosby will, one day, be 100 percent healthy. One day he will no longer suffer from any symptoms. His brain will heal. That is, as long as he and his doctors continue to approach this injury with the respect it deserves. Dr. Collins says that, “we are not even close,” to clearing Crosby for contact. When asked if Sid will be ready to go in Vancouver on October 6th, Collins replied, “I have no earthly idea.”

6) Everybody involved with this situation is supremely confident that Sid will make a full and complete recovery. Nobody knows when that will be. The only thing that can be guaranteed about Sid’s recovery is that it is inevitable; He will play hockey again.

Sidney Crosby will not retire. He never contemplated retirement. Crosby himself said it is “likely” that he will play this season. If you think he will not play this season, listen to Sid when he says, “I wouldn’t bet on it.”

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Categories: Penguins Tags: ,
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  1. September 8, 2011 at 11:10 am

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