Sidney Crosby has core muscle surgery, out 6 weeks

Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby underwent surgery for a core muscle injury Thursday and is out at least six weeks, the team announced.

General manager Jim Rutherford said the surgery was performed by Dr. William Meyers of the Vincera Institute in Philadelphia. The team said in a statement that Crosby has been dealing with a sports hernia since training camp.

Crosby, 32, left the ice in the third period of the Penguins' shootout win over the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday. It wasn't clear when he was injured, but he had fallen awkwardly and also took a puck off the leg earlier in the game.

He leads the Penguins with 17 points on five goals and 12 assists in 17 games. Pittsburgh is currently fourth in the Metropolitan Division.

The Penguins have had unrelenting injury issues this season. Over the first six weeks, forwards Evgeni Malkin, Patric Hornqvist, Bryan Rust, Alex Galchenyuk and Nick Bjugstad have all missed time due to injuries. Currently, the Penguins are without Hornqvist as well as top defenseman Kris Letang, who are both dealing with lower-body injuries.

According to The Athletic, Crosby initially tried to avoid surgery and play through the pain -- especially because of how many Penguins players were sidelined.

Crosby has a lengthy injury history. He was limited to 41 games in 2010-11 and missed the playoffs -- as well as the first 20 games of the 2011-12 season -- with concussion symptoms. After only eight games back in 2011, Crosby collided with Boston's David Krejci, forcing him to sit another 40 games with concussion symptoms and a neck injury.

Recently, Crosby has had a decent stretch of health. Before this current setback, Crosby had played in 410 of the Penguins' last 427 games.

ESPN's Emily Kaplan contributed to this report.