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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Pittsburgh Penguin's all-star forward Sidney Crosby will be sidelined for six-to-eight weeks with an ankle injury, the team said on Tuesday.
The NHL MVP was re-evaluated by team doctors and further testing confirmed a high ankle sprain, the Penguins said on their Web site (penguins.nhl.com).
Crosby, who was placed on the injured list on Monday after damaging his right ankle in a 3-0 loss to Tampa Bay on Friday, will miss the NHL all-star game in Atlanta on Sunday.
Crosby's absence will be a blow to the league because the top vote-getter in all-star balloting is the centerpiece of the NHL's marketing efforts and the face of a sport trying to secure its place in a tough U.S. marketplace.
It is also a major setback for the Penguins who hold a one-point lead over the Philadelphia Flyers and New Jersey Devils in the tight Atlantic Division standings.
Crosby, last year's scoring champion, is again battling for top honors with 20 goals and a league best 43 assists.
He is tied with Atlanta Thrashers Ilya Kovalchuk and Calgary Flames Jarome Iginla on 63 points in NHL scoring, one point behind Tampa Bay Lightning's Vincent Lecavalier.
Writing by Steve Keating in Detroit; Editing by Ken Ferris