Sidney Crosby is feeling good these days. Still, the Pittsburgh Penguins superstar isn’t sure when he’ll return to the ice.
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Coach Dan Bylsma said Thursday afternoon Crosby will not play Friday or Saturday and that his status remains uncertain. Crosby hasn’t played since being diagnosed with concussion-like symptoms in early January.
”He’s had a good week of practice and is progressing, but he will not be playing this weekend,” Bylsma said.
Crosby has practiced with the team since the start of training camp two months ago and was cleared for contact last month. He participated in a physical practice Wednesday, taking a couple of major shots from teammates.
The 24-year-old appeared to bounce back just fine Thursday, though he declined to talk to media afterward. Teammate Matt Cooke wouldn’t speculate on Crosby’s condition but said his teammate appeared to hold his own.
”We had line battles, one-on-one battles and it was intense,” Cooke said.
There had been speculation that a six-day layoff between last Saturday’s shootout win in Los Angeles and Friday’s home game against Dallas would provide a window for the 2007 NHL MVP to be cleared to play.
Instead the wait continues. The next opportunity would be Tuesday at home against Colorado, though Bylsma stressed it will be up to Crosby and his team of doctors to decide when he’s ready.
”From a coach’s standpoint we’re not looking for something, some kind of indicator on the ice that says Sidney can play,” Bylsma said. ”We’re at the standpoint in terms of progression … that’s all the doctor’s directive. That’s not something I know about.”
The Penguins have done more than stay afloat without their captain. They head into the weekend atop the Atlantic Division, and Bylsma is in no hurry to for Crosby to start his seventh season in the league before he’s 100 percent.
”He looks great,” Bylsma said. ”He flies around but in terms of progressing, the rehab that the doctors have set out and him going through practice with people hitting, we definitely want him to go through that process. When that process is over sometime down the road we’ll see one of the most gifted players in the world return to the game.”