A timeline of health issues for the Pittsburgh Penguins
Sidney Crosby has the mumps, as does the rest of the NHL. It is another chapter in recent health issues for the Pittsburgh Penguins organization.
The announcement isn’t surprising given the recent outbreak that has overtaken the NHL, as well as Crosby’s physical appearance on Friday. While he denied that he would miss anytime (despite a visibly inflamed face), the Penguins later announced that Crosby would be held out of two games as a precautionary measure.
On Sunday, the team confirmed that he has the mumps, as Dr. Dharmesh Vyas (the team’s physician) explained the situation.
Unfortunately, this kind of announcement has become all too familiar with the Penguins, as several players have experienced health issues incurred beyond the confines of a hockey rink. The result has been a dark cloud over a franchise that is one of hockey’s most celebrated and talent rich.
Here is a brief timeline of those issues:
Dec. 14, 2014: Diagnosed with the mumps
The Penguins announce that Crosby has the mumps and will be held out of Monday’s game against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Crosby is expected to be through the infectious stage of the disease by Monday. A timeline for his return has not be released at this time.
Crosby is one of several players who have caught the disease. Dr. Vyas said Crosby was diagnosed on Saturday night and had received a booster shot for the mumps earlier this year.
Nov. 19, 2014: Diagnosed with a blood clot in his lungs
Expected to miss at least six months
The Penguins called a press conference to announce the presence of a blood clot in Dupuis’ lung. The issue was discovered when Dupuis experienced discomfort in his chest. This is his second blood clot in 2014.
The team’s physician, Dr. Vyas, explained that the clot originated in Dupuis’ leg, which was diagnosed in January shortly after he tore ligaments in his knee. He required ACL/MCL surgery to repair the knee issue and was prescribed blood thinners to help with the clot in his leg.
He will not be able to play hockey, but his health is considered stable.
Nov. 4, 2014: Underwent surgery for tumor of the thyroid gland
Missed 17 days (still played before operation)
The Penguins announced at the end of October that Maatta, 20, had a tumor on his neck that could be low-grade thyroid cancer and that it needed to be removed. Dr. Vyas stated that Maata likely wouldn’t need chemotherapy or radiation after the tumor was removed and that his lifestyle and career would not be affected by the procedure.
Maatta was able to continue playing prior to the surgery and missed only 17 days as a result. He returned to the Penguins’ lineup on Tuesday night.
The tumor was ultimately discovered to be cancerous, but is not expected to create any more complications for Maatta.
Jan. 29, 2014: Suffered a stroke
Returned to play on Apr. 9, 2014 (Missed approximately two months)
Letang was found by his wife on the floor of their bedroom on the morning of Jan. 29, unable to function. Letang flew with the Penguins to Los Angeles later that day because he felt improved. However, he felt nauseous and dizzy and was held out from the team’s game against the Kings. He underwent a series of tests a few days later in Phoenix and it was discovered that he had experienced a stroke.
Letang was 26 at the time.
The Penguins announced on Feb. 7 that Letang would miss six weeks. He was prescribed blood thinners, was permitted to travel on vacation, was eventually allowed to resume off-ice workouts and later resumed daily activities with the team.
He has played in every game this season.
Sept. 21, 2014: Team announced blood clots in hip
Has not returned to play
The Penguins announced in September of 2014 that goaltender Tomas Vokoun had blood clots in his hip that needed to be dissolved.
The issue was discovered when Vokoun noticed swelling in his leg after a practice. He was promptly taken to the hospital where doctors diagnosed the clots and treated the problem. Vokoun had previously battled blood clots in April of 2006 when he was a member of the Florida Panthers. He eventually returned from the issue, but unfortunately hasn’t been able to do so with this current situation.
The Penguins originally placed a three-to-six month timeline on Vokoun’s return.