The Pittsburgh Penguins’ injury situation has gone from bad to worse, as their biggest star, Sidney Crosby, has been placed on injured reserve.

With Kris Letang and Patric Hornqvist already sidelined with injuries ā€” and Malkin recently returning after missing 11 games with a leg injury ā€” the Penguins now see another major blow to the lineup with Crosby out of the mix for the foreseeable future. The Pittsburgh captain has been dealing with a sports hernia and made the decision to undergo surgery.

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While the locker room has seen its fair share of injuries so far to start 2019-20, the team is barely holding on to a wild-card spot, and being without another key piece of the puzzle is going to make their upcoming run difficult. In turn, the Penguins will look to Malkin to lead the way, as well as the likes of Jake Guentzel, Alex Galchenyuk and Nick Bjustad to step up and fill the void left by the 32-year-old center.

MORE: Crosby undergoes surgery to repair hernia

How long will Sidney Crosby be out?

The Penguins captain underwent “muscle injury repair” to fix his sports hernia on Nov. 14, which will hold him out of the lineup for a minimum of six weeks, the team said in a statement.

“Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby underwent a successful muscle injury repair . . . the surgery was performed by Dr. William Meyers of the Vincera Institute in Philadelphia, Pa. The expected recovery time is a minimum of six weeks.”

On Monday, the team announced that Crosby has been skating for about a week but provided no update on his return timetable.

“He’s making progress in his rehab process,” head coach Mike Sullivan said. “We’re encouraged by where he’s at. As he gets closer, we’ll update you.”

Sidney Crosby injury timeline

Crosby had been suffering from a hernia since training camp but had been playing through it, leading the team with 17 points through 17 games.

In the third period of the Pens’ 3-2 shootout win over the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday, the 5-11, 200-pound forward was skating into the offensive zone when, while trying not to collide with a backchecking Erik Gustafsson, skated into the Blackhawks’ defender’s skate. Not too long after, Crosby took a shot off his right foot before leaving the game and undergoing further evaluation.

The Athletic later confirmed Tuesday that Crosby didn’t hurt his foot. Instead, he had to make a decision in regards to a different injury entirely: whether or not to have surgery to repair his hernia. He chose the latter, and now he isn’t expected to be back before Christmas, via NHL.com.

Sidney Crosby injury updates

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