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Pens lose Neal to concussion

Pittsburgh Penguins v Toronto Maple Leafs

TORONTO, CANADA - OCTOBER 29: James Neal #18 of the Pittsburgh Penguins skates during NHL game action against the Toronto Maple Leafs October 29, 2011 at Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Brad White/Getty Images)

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Pittsburgh forward James Neal has been diagnosed with a concussion, according to Pens head coach Dan Bylsma.

Neal, who missed eight games last season with a concussion, didn’t participate in the last two Pittsburgh practices while getting checked over by team doctors.

Yesterday, Bylsma said both Neal and Kunitz were “dealing with bumps and bruises.” Kunitz was shaken up during Tuesday’s 2-0 win over Washington, a game in which Neal played 14:53 but only took four shifts in the third period for 3:05 of ice time.

The 26-year-old winger will be held out of the Pens lineup indefinitely and will miss this weekend’s home-and-home set against the Flyers.

Neal has 22 goals and 49 points in 44 games this season, one that has already seen him miss extensive time to an upper-body injury (15 games) and suspension (five games).

The Neal concussion is also another health setback for Pittsburgh to endure. The club is already without the services of defensemen Paul Martin (broken hand) and Kris Letang (stroke) and, earlier this season, lost forward Pascal Dupuis for the year with a torn ACL.

Beau Bennett, Chris Conner and Tomas Vokoun are also currently on injured reserve.