PITTSBURGH – Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby will sit out Wednesday night’s game against the Buffalo Sabres after having pain in his right ankle during the team’s morning skate.
Crosby recently missed 21 games with a ligament sprain in the same ankle, an injury commonly known as a high ankle sprain.
Crosby had two goals Sunday against Washington in a 4-2 victory, his first goals in three games since returning from the Jan. 18 injury. He resumed playing March 11 in Tampa, setting up Maxime Talbot’s winning goal with about 2 1/2 minutes remaining in a 2-0 victory.
Crosby has had discomfort in the ankle since the Washington game.
“That game itself was pretty physical,” Crosby said. “It’s probably a combination of that and it’s been sore the past couple of days.”
The Penguins have three days off following Wednesday’s game, and coach Michel Therrien said it made sense for Crosby to sit out and rest up during the break. The Penguins next play Sunday at home against Philadelphia.
“Obviously, it’s a little sore now,” Crosby said. “We have a few more days until our next game. If there is a time to give it a rest, it might be now. … It’s one of those things where you might not get three or four days (off) again in the schedule.”
Asked if he hopes to play Sunday, Crosby said, “That’s what I’m planning on.”
Crosby, last season’s NHL MVP, has 22 goals and 45 assists for 67 points in 49 games.
Talbot also will sit out Wednesday after aggravating the high ankle sprain he had earlier this season. Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury also was out nearly three months with the same injury before returning Feb. 28.
A high ankle sprain can flare up at any time – Talbot has had several setbacks since getting hurt Nov. 3 – and often lingers for months.
“It’s just the nature of it and you have to live with it,” Crosby said. “It’s not fun, for sure.”