Sidney Crosby's badly sprained ankle will force him to miss Sunday's NHL All-Star game and a number of games for the Pittsburgh Penguins after that. How many isn't certain.
Crosby, the leading All-Star vote-getter, injured his right ankle Friday during the Penguins' 3-0 loss to Tampa Bay, and the preliminary diagnosis was a high ankle sprain. Team doctors are expected to reexamine his ankle today. The ligament injury normally requires a long recovery -- usually at least a month, and often longer.
The Penguins put their captain on the injured list Monday, a procedural move that allowed them to add an extra forward for their two games before the break. The move was retroactive to Friday, and a player must stay on the injury list at least a week.
The NHL has not formally announced Crosby won't play Sunday, but the nature of the injury means Crosby is certain to be out for an extended stretch.
For now, the Penguins can only guess how long last season's scoring champion and most valuable player will be sidelined for a team that has overcome a poor start to become a prime Eastern Conference playoff contender.