Thursday, March 31, 2011
Sidney Crosby in morning skate
ESPN.com news services
TAMPA, Fla. -- Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby, sidelined for nearly three months with a concussion, resumed skating with his teammates Thursday.
Crosby has been out since Jan. 6. He took part in the no-contact game-day skate Thursday as Pittsburgh prepared for its night matchup against Tampa Bay.
"It was just fun, a lot of fun to be back out there even though I'm not playing," he said. "It's nice to be around the guys. I've spent a lot of time at home and guys have been on the road. It's nice to join them and get back out there."
The Penguins' captain is not ready yet to participate in full practices. A return to game action for the postseason has not been completely ruled out.
"It was good to see him out there," Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said. "There's actually no expectations on when the next step after this one would be. He'd still have to return to a full practice, and then return to contact. Those are two things that are down the road, and both of those there's no timetable for either one."
Crosby began individual workouts March 14 and has reported no setbacks.
"At this point when you haven't skated that much and you're out there it's important to separate between being fatigued and feeling symptoms of a concussion," he said. "It's more than just one day. That's why you have to do it a bit and see how you react."
Crosby had 32 goals and 66 points at the time of his injury. Despite playing just 41 games, he is still the team's leading scorer.
"You've got to make sure you're healthy," Crosby said. "If it takes two months, then it takes two months."
Crosby absorbed a blindside hit to the head from then-Washington Capitals forward David Steckel during the Winter Classic outdoor game on Jan. 1, but initially felt only neck soreness.
He began feeling worse Jan. 5, but played that night against Tampa Bay and was checked into the boards by Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman.
"It probably didn't help, that's for sure," Crosby said of Hedman's hit.
Hedman, again, said he doesn't believe his hit caused Crosby's injury. The defenseman is happy to see Crosby making progress toward playing again.
Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay likely will meet in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs.
"The motions, all the guys out there is something you take for granted a lot. That's something that you have to get readjusted to," Crosby said. "It puts a lot of pressure on your brain a bit when everyone is moving out there and you have to react to that. Just trying to see how that goes."
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.