Bob McKenzie originally reported that Crosby was diagnosed with the mumps virus and the Penguins later confirmed the report and announced that Crosby won’t play on Monday vs. the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Penguins medical staff will continue to monitor Crosby’s status daily, but they believe he should be through the infectious period by Monday.
Crosby missed Thursday’s practice, but was in Friday’s morning skate and was expected to play tonight. However, the team announced via Twitter that he will be held out of Friday’s game vs. the Calgary Flames and Saturday’s game vs. the Columbus Blue Jackets as a precaution.
Crosby will undergo further testing over the next few days to determine the nature of his illness. The way the mumps virus has swept the NHL this season, the immediate concern is that Crosby may have contracted the virus and could be held out for more than two games.
Seth Rorabaugh of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazzette posted the picture below on Twitter and speculation of mumps started to run ramped.
After Saturday’s game the Penguins are off until Monday vs. the Tampa Bay Lightning, so expect some more news on Crosby’s virus to surface on Sunday or Monday. With their captain out, Evgeni Malkin will centre the top line with Patric Hornqvist (head) who is expected to return tonight. Defenseman Kris Letang (groin) is also expected to be back, so that should help ease the loss of Crosby.