SPORTS

Sidney Crosby returns to ice after mumps diagnosis, 3 Penguin teammates tested

12/17/2014 12:00 EST | Updated 02/16/2015 05:59 EST
PITTSBURGH, Pa. - Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby returned from a bout with mumps, while several teammates were tested for the virus as a precaution.

Crosby worked out Wednesday for the first time after missing three games over the weekend. He could return to the lineup as early as Thursday night when the Penguins face Colorado.

General manager Jim Rutherford said Crosby is "doing well," and he'll let Crosby and coach Mike Johnston decide the timetable for a possible return.

The Penguins held goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury and defencemen Olli Maatta and Robert Bortuzzo out of practice Wednesday while they get tested for mumps. All three players tested negative for mumps earlier in December.

"We're being cautious," Rutherford said. "All three of those players are in isolation. Any time that anybody even starts to not feel well, even if it's not mumps-like symptoms, we've gotten the person or player out of here as soon as we can."

At least five NHL teams have been affected by the virus, which is spread through infected saliva and causes facial swelling and fatigue. There's no specific treatment for the mumps, which must run its course. Most children and adults recover within about two weeks.

On Sunday, the Penguins said Crosby had the mumps and held him out of games over the weekend as a precaution when swelling developed on the right side of his face. Initially, the team believed it was related to a salivary gland injury Crosby sustained during a game against Carolina on Nov. 29.

Pittsburgh forward Beau Bennett was diagnosed with mumps on Tuesday. Rutherford said the team is taking extra measures to sanitize Consol Energy Center.

The club is recommending employees and members of the support staff receive booster shots.

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