James Neal Injury: Updates on Penguins Winger's Head

Alex BallentineFeatured ColumnistApril 5, 2013

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 03: Dan Girardi #5 of the New York Rangers gets the stick up on James Neal #18 of the Pittsburgh Penguins at Madison Square Garden on April 3, 2013 in New York City.  The Rangers defeated the Penguins 6-1. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Penguins could see yet another player miss some time due to an injury. James Neal was forced out of the game after taking an elbow to the head (h/t James Mirtle of the Globe and Mail)

UPDATE: Monday, April 8, at 12:49 p.m. ET by Tom Kinslow

Bad news for the Penguins, as Neal has been diagnosed with a concussion and will miss the team's upcoming three-game road trip, according to the team's official Twitter account

---End of update---

The Penguins just can't seem to catch a break when it comes to head injuries this season. Penguins superstar Sidney Crosby was knocked out of the lineup on March 30 after taking a puck to the face that broke his jaw. 

With Crosby out of the lineup, the Penguins have relied on Neal to pick up the slack on the attack. The 25-year-old left wing is third on the team with 32 points on the season, including 18 goals and 14 assists. If Neal is forced to miss a considerable amount of time, the Penguins will have a difficult time replacing his offensive output. 

According to Jesse Spector of Sporting News, the hit from the New York Rangers Michael Del Zotto was malicious enough to draw a review from the NHL's front office. 

Whether or not Del Zotto will face any disciplinary action from the NHL remains to be seen.

The 2013 season has been a success thus far for the Penguins. At 29-10 the Penguins lead the Eastern Conference with 58 points. 

With both Crosby and Neal potentially out for a while, it could become increasingly difficult for the Penguins to hold on to their conference domination. 

Be sure to check back with this page as we bring you the latest updates on Neal's injury and his eventual return to the lineup.