MONTREAL – Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby will miss the All-Star game because of a left knee injury.
Tampa Bay scoring leader Martin St. Louis replaced Crosby on Thursday on the Eastern Conference roster. The game is Sunday at the Bell Centre.
“It’s an unfortunate situation,” Crosby said in a statement posted on the Penguins’ website. “It’s going to be a real special event. I would have loved to be a part of it but it’s something I have to deal with and I believe I made the right decision.”
Crosby, second in the NHL scoring race with 60 points on 17 goals and 43 assists in 47 games, missed a game Friday night because of the knee injury, and was struck twice on the left arm by pucks during a 2-1 loss to Carolina on Tuesday night.
He played in the Penguins’ final two games before the break, then was examined by doctors on Wednesday and Thursday.
“(The doctors’) recommendation was to take four or five days off and let the injury heal and go from there,” Penguins general manager Ray Shero said on the team’s website. “I’m not advising anyone to go against the advice of medical staff. I know Sidney is disappointed for sure. But that’s where we are with the injury.”
With the Penguins out of playoff position in the Eastern Conference, they don’t want to take a chance the injury might worsen if Crosby plays in a game that doesn’t count in the standings.
Crosby’s status for the Penguins’ Jan. 28 game against the Rangers in Pittsburgh won’t be determined until the team resumes practice Monday.
Crosby’s injury is believed to be a bruised left knee, but NHL teams are not required to disclose the exact nature of injuries.
Crosby received a record 1.7 million votes in fan balloting. A high ankle sprain kept him out of last year’s all-star game.
St. Louis will be making his fifth straight all-star game appearance. He has 17 goals and 29 assists this season.