NHL

Crosby returns to Penguins practice

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Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby practiced Monday but said he is no closer to returning from a concussion and neck injury that have sidelined him for most of the season.

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Coach Dan Bylsma felt with Jordan Staal and Simon Despres ready to resume skating after their injuries, it was better to include Crosby in the main practice rather than have him skate on his own.

Crosby moved with plenty of energy and took part in every drill.

''It was good to be out there,'' he said. ''I wasn't going to skate by myself if I didn't have to.

''This week's been pretty good. I feel like I'm getting there. I don't know the timeframe. I wish I did.''

Crosby said he is not ready to resume practicing regularly with his teammates.

''I'll be back (skating) by myself and doing the type of things injured guys usually do,'' he said.

''You play hockey because you love being part of the team and being around that type of atmosphere. When you're injured it's not like that. You're out there with one or two guys and you're on your own. It's nice to be with the group.''

He said he has felt a little better in the past week and is optimistic since the injury has been diagnosed as a neck problem rather than a concussion.

But when asked if he was symptom-free, he said: ''No. As soon as I am hopefully I'll be out there. That's where I want to be.''

Asked how Crosby looked, Bylsma said: ''He always looks good when he's got his gear on.'' He added there was no change in Crosby's status.

Bylsma said forward Tyler Kennedy was sent back to Pittsburgh to be examined for a lower-body injury.

Tagged: Penguins, Sidney Crosby

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