Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby on Tuesday rejected a newspaper report that he was still angry about unpunished hits of the head and would not participate in the all-star game as a result.
"That’s not even close [to accurate]," he told the Penguins website. "I’ll be there if I can be there and still haven’t ruled out being there. Hopefully, in the next few days things get better. There’s a slight chance I can still be back for that. That’s what I’m hoping. If I can be there, I’ll be there."
The Globe and Mail reported in its Tuesday edition that Crosby was still seething at the fact the hits to the head he received in consecutive games did not lead to suspensions, which would influence his decision not to participate in the all-star game on Jan. 30 in Raleigh, N.C.
Crosby's agent, Pat Brisson, contacted several hockey reporters from around North America on Tuesday to angrily reject the report.
"The last thing you want for a player with a brain injury is to bring him more stress," Brisson told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. "We've not talked about the all-star game even once."
Crosby last played on Jan. 5 and won't be back on the ice until he's free from concussion symptoms, per NHL rules.
"It’s tough to put a timetable on it," he said on Tuesday. "I feel like I’ve progressed a lot, especially the past week or so. Hopefully that’s a good sign."
Crosby, 23, said his most common symptoms have been headaches. The NHL scoring leader said he hasn't engaged in any off-ice exercise.
Penguins coach Dan Bylsma earlier this month defended Pittsburgh's decision not to hold Crosby out for the rest of the Winter Classic on Jan. 1 after he was blindsided by Washington's Dave Steckel.
HBO's 24/7 show, which followed the two clubs before and during the outdoor game, depicted a groggy Crosby in the second intermission just minutes after the Steckel hit. The Pittsburgh captain returned to play in the third period.
In his next game, Crosby's head hit the glass after a hit from Tampa Bay Lightning defenceman Victor Hedman.
Crosby said the Steckel hit had left him with a sore neck, but that he'd experienced a sore neck before, so he wasn't alarmed.
Crosby last week expressed his disappointment that neither hit was subject to supplemental discipline from the league.
It could mark the second straight all-star game in which Crosby is unable to play. He missed the 2009 contest in Montreal due to a knee injury, though he did attend to participate in off-ice activities.
Crosby has been taking in Pittsburgh's games with the team's coaches who watch from the press box.
The Penguins on Tuesday were set to take on Detroit, their Stanley Cup rivals two years in a row beginning in 2008.