Having suffered at least four concussions himself, former NHL forward Keith Primeau has a good idea of what injured Pittsburgh Penguins superstar Sidney Crosby is going through. Head injuries eventually forced Primeau from the game in 2006. He had tried for over a year to get back in the Philadelphia Flyers lineup but was eventually told that it would be best if he stopped playing. Primeau retired a month later.
"If I knew then what I know now, the ultimate decision would have been for me to call it quits earlier," Primeau said Wednesday. "But there was no chance that I was ever going to do that. How do you convince somebody? You're playing a little bit of Russian roulette." Crosby suffered what's believed to be the fourth concussion of his career Monday night against the Washington Capitals. His return date is uncertain.
The time may be approaching, doctors suggested Wednesday, for Crosby to take a hard look at not when — but if — he should return to the game. "When there have been multiple concussions, the chance of having persisting symptoms goes up terrifically," said Dr. Charles Tator, the director of the Canadian Concussion Centre at Toronto Western Hospital. "So we're especially careful about helping people avoid further concussions.
"If he were an amateur, we would probably tell him to hang up his skates." Crosby was out of action for almost a year after suffering a pair of head injuries in early 2011. He suffered another concussion last October but only missed two weeks of action.