Sullivan insists Penguins will take cautious approach with Crosby

Charles LeClaire / Reuters

Mike Sullivan says he's not going to put team goals ahead of the health of his captain.

The Pittsburgh Penguins head coach made a point of emphasizing the measures the club will take to ensure Sidney Crosby doesn't come back too soon from his brain injury.

“We take all of the concussions that our players get afflicted with seriously,” Sullivan told reporters Monday, according to Sam Wener of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

“Our medical staff follows strict guidelines, and there’s a certain protocol and that’s how our team operates. We always have our players’ best interests (in mind) and health is the priority. Regardless of who the player is, that’s how we feel and we’ve always felt that way, so this one will be no different.”

Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford revealed Monday that Crosby was diagnosed with a concussion that he sustained at practice Friday. There's no timeline for his return.

“It is what it is,” Sullivan said. “Injuries are part of our game, and so part of the challenge is for us to help Sid get healthy as quickly as possible. That’s what we’re going to do. We don’t look at it any other way. For me, frustration at this point is a useless emotion.”

Sullivan believes the Penguins will still be in capable hands without the World Cup MVP.

"With the absence of Sid in the lineup, we believe we still have a strong leadership group." he said.

Crosby's diagnosis comes three days before Pittsburgh's season opener against the Washington Capitals. The Penguins will raise the 2015-16 Stanley Cup championship banner prior to the game.

Sullivan insists Penguins will take cautious approach with Crosby
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