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Islanders' Mikhail Grabovski will miss time with concussion

Mikhail Grabovski of the Islanders skates in warmups

Mikhail Grabovski of the Islanders skates in warmups before a game against the Carolina Hurricanes at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Sept. 24, 2014. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Bruce Bennett

PITTSBURGH - Mikhail Grabovski has a concussion.

He had passed concussion testing on Thursday night after leaving the Islanders' game against the Sharks in the first period following a thunderous, legal hit from John Scott.

But Grabovski awoke Friday morning with concussion symptoms, according to general manager Garth Snow, and now the concussion protocols are in place. He won't be evaluated again until Monday at the earliest and it will be several days until Grabovski can return to the ice.

Snow decided not to call anyone up from Bridgeport for last night's game, going with veteran Colin McDonald and a juggled line structure to replace Grabovski, who had two goals and an assist in the first four games.

Bridgeport had games on Friday, Saturday night and Sunday night, so after the weekend, the Islanders might make a move.

Crosby praises pals

Sidney Crosby and John Tavares share an agency (CAA) and have shared offseason workouts since Tavares joined the Islanders five years ago.

Kyle Okposo has joined those two stars plus a handful of other NHL players in summer workouts, particularly with Darryl Belfry, a skills coach who boasts an impressive list of clients.

Crosby said Saturday morning that he isn't surprised at what Tavares, Okposo and the Islanders have done so far this season.

"They work so hard and want to get better," Crosby said of Tavares and Okposo. "Just with that mentality, it's just a matter of time. And it's clear they've gotten better each year . . . It's only a matter of time to see some of the success they've had so far."

McDonald determined

Colin McDonald felt he'd established himself as an NHL regular two seasons ago when he contributed 17 points in 45 games and another three points in the playoffs for the Isles, earning a two-year contract.

But the 30-year-old didn't crack the lineup until Saturday night, and that only because of Grabovski's concussion.

"It's human nature to think about different things when you're not playing, but I felt like I had a great camp and the coaches said they were happy with me," McDonald said. "I knew I'd get a chance at some point, so you just have to grab it when you can."

New York Sports