The Washington Times - January 31, 2012, 06:10PM

TAMPA, Fla. | The revelation Saturday night that Sidney Crosby had been diagnosed with a neck injury made most everyone around the NHL look the other way from the All-Star skills competition. This was a big deal.

“All concussions have some kind of a neck treatment that goes with it,” agent Pat Brisson said in Ottawa. “It’s a complicated injury. It’s not like tearing a knee. It’s never black and white.


“His spine is fine. The spine is fine. He’s safe and that’s great news.”

More information came out Tuesday via the Penguins, who said Crosby did not have any kind of neck fracture but rather “a soft-tissue injury of the neck that could be causing neurological symptoms.”

The team released a statement after 5 p.m. Tuesday in advance of a 6:15 press conference in Pittsburgh with Crosby and general manager Ray Shero. The Penguins cited Dr. Alexander Vaccaro of Thomas Jefferson Hospital in Philadelphia in explaining the diagnosis.

Dr. Robert S. Bray found the C1 and C2 vertebrae injuries, and the team said Tuesday that Bray treated Crosby for “swelling” with an injection.

As Brisson said Saturday, “Sidney saw so many specialists and therapists” across the country. With so many different diagnoses, it’s uncertain if Tuesday’s news is good or bad news for Crosby.

Crosby seemed to indicate it was a positive sign because treatments for neck injuries are more vast than for brain injuries.

“It’s something to work on,” he said. “From what I’ve been told its been something that pretty commonly linked with concussion symptoms, this kind of neck stuff.”

Shero explained that Bray, Vaccaro and other doctors all agreed on a conference call Monday that Crosby’s X-rays and CAT scans showed “no evidence of past or present fracture.”