Sidney Crosby skates amid recovery

Updated: January 31, 2012, 1:26 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

PITTSBURGH -- Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby skated on Monday as he continues his slow return from a second battle with concussion-like symptoms.

Crosby skated on the Consol Energy Center ice Monday for the first time in more than six weeks, joining injured teammates Simon Despres and Jordan Staal for a brief workout.

And while coach Dan Bylsma refuses to put a timetable on Crosby's return, there at least appears to be a sense of optimism despite news this past weekend that the 24-year-old superstar suffered a neck injury in January 2011 that perhaps complicated his nearly 11-month recovery from concussion-like symptoms.

Crosby spent All-Star Weekend in Pittsburgh after traveling to Los Angeles to visit neurological spine specialist Dr. Robert S. Bray, who reported that Crosby suffered a neck injury as well as a concussion in January 2011.

The team acknowledged Saturday that Bray discovered an unspecified neck injury that was "fully healed."

An independent physician is studying the findings before the team makes any sort of determination on Crosby's next step.

Prior to his meeting with Bray, Crosby also visited Alex Guerrero, a specialist in Utah who was recommended by none other than New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.

Brady went to Guerrero three years ago after undergoing knee surgery.

"I trust him," Brady told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Tuesday at Super Bowl media day in Indianapolis. "I know I wouldn't be here today without him."

Bylsma said Crosby worked at a "pretty good clip" during his session, adding Pittsburgh's captain was "pretty excited" to be back at work, even in a limited capacity.

"Anything that's progressing for him to get healthy and getting back to 100 percent and feeling like Sidney Crosby does is a positive," Pittsburgh forward Chris Kunitz said. "If he's skating and doing things, that's good for him as a person and that's what counts."

Crosby hasn't played since concussion-like symptoms returned after a Dec. 5 game against Boston. He skated with his teammates during a swing through Florida earlier this month, but hadn't been on home ice in 54 days.

General manager Ray Shero said during All-Star Weekend he remains optimistic Crosby will return this season.

The Penguins entered the break the hottest team in the league, winning seven straight. They host Toronto on Tuesday.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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