PITTSBURGH — Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby, who was widely believed to have been out because of another concussion since Dec. 5, is dealing with a vertebrae injury, Sportsnet reported Saturday.

PITTSBURGH — Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby, who was widely believed to have been out because of another concussion since Dec. 5, is dealing with a vertebrae injury, Sportsnet reported Saturday.

After seeing a specialist in Utah, it was found that Crosby had an abnormality between his C1 and C2 vertebrae, sources said.

Crosby reportedly learned the news Wednesday. He saw the doctor on the recommendation of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, who is a friend of the NHL star.

The 24-year-old had also traveled to California and Atlanta in recent weeks to meet with a neurological spine surgeon and a chiropractor who specializes in neurological treatment.

Crosby's agent Pat Brisson confirmed the diagnosis of a neck injury and added, "We will seek confirmation from a third doctor in the next 24-48 hours based on the cat scans and MRI results."

Crosby is also scheduled to meet with team doctors this week for another examination of his concussion-like symptoms.

The team has said he will not return to the lineup until he is 100 percent healthy.

Crosby suffered the original concussion in early January of last year, and he did not play the rest of the season.

The Penguins finally got Crosby back into the lineup Nov. 21 and he tallied two goals and 10 assists in eight games. But he was again forced to the sidelines when his concussion symptoms resurfaced in early December.