PITTSBURGH (AP) - NHL scoring champion Sidney Crosby played the final 2 1/2 weeks of the regular season and the playoffs with a broken left foot, an injury the Pittsburgh Penguins star didn't disclose until Saturday.
Crosby revealed the injury when he explained why he won't play in the world championships in Moscow. Crosby was expected to join Team Canada for the second year in a row after Pittsburgh was eliminated by Ottawa in the first round of the NHL playoffs.
Crosby believes he broke a bone in the foot while blocking a shot March 16 against Montreal, but he didn't miss any games. He had five goals and nine assists in his final 11 regular season games and three goals and two assists in five playoff games.
``The first two weeks were pretty sore,'' Crosby said as the Penguins players assembled Saturday before breaking for the summer. ``After a couple of weeks, it starts to heal and it got a little better after that. It just needs time. ... After a couple of weeks, it didn't have any effect.''
The game after he was hurt, Crosby had a goal and an assist against Ottawa on March 18 but then went scoreless in his next three games. Less than two weeks after getting hurt, he had two goals and an assist March 25 against Boston and a goal and an assist March 27 against Washington.
Crosby was in discomfort at times during the playoffs, but made certain he would not worsen the injury by playing.
Despite getting hurt, the 19-year-old Crosby became the youngest player to win the NHL scoring title with 120 points.
Crosby is disappointed he won't play in the world championships, where he was the leading scorer last year with eight goals and eight assists in nine games.
``It would have been a huge thrill to play for Team Canada,'' he said.
Next season, Crosby will be entering the final year of the three-year entry-level contract he signed after being drafted in 2005. He is hopeful of working out a new deal so he won't become an unrestricted free agent following the 2007-08 season.

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