TAMPA, Fla. – Pittsburgh Penguins centre 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 a lot of fun to be back out there,” Crosby said. “It’s just a small step, with a lot to go.”
The Penguins captain is not ready yet to participate in full practices. A return to game action for the post-season 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.
“It’s the same thing with every step, make sure that you don’t get symptoms,” Crosby said. “Obviously, it’s just one day. Try and get through each step.”
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 hit to the head in a collision with Washington’s David Steckel during the Winter Classic outdoor game on Jan. 1, but initially felt only neck soreness. He began feeling worse on Jan. 5, but played that night against Tampa Bay and was checked into the boards by the Lightning’s Victor Hedman.
“It probably didn’t help, that’s for sure,” Crosby said of Hedman’s hit.
Hedman, again, said he doesn’t think his hit caused Crosby’s injury. The defenceman is happy to see Crosby making progress toward playing again.
Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay will likely meet in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs.