Crosby skates, but return uncertain
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Penguins captain Sidney Crosby was back on the ice for the first time in more than two months Monday morning.
When he returns to the lineup is still anybody's guess.
Crosby skated for about 15 minutes at Consol Energy Center before a scheduled practice Monday morning, He wore full pads and handled the puck with his stick.
It was the most visible step in Crosby's recovery since a concussion that has sidelined him since Jan. 5. But he is not sure if he will be back at all this season.
"I have no clue," Crosby said.
"I'm not thinking too far ahead as far as a time frame. I just want to get better. This is part of the way to do that. I'm just kind of taking that step and seeing how it goes."
Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said though he has not ruled out Crosby rejoining the team this season, he was not counting on the star center's return.
"In terms of planning toward the future in April I have not thought about making a plan with Sidney Crosby," Bylsma said.
"I'm not saying that I've thought about ruling him out, but that's not the approach right now that we've taken.
"We play with the guys in the room, and that's what we anticipate going forward, planning-wise. But he's obviously symptom free and skating, so whatever timetable, whenever that can happen, we'd be glad to welcome him back."
Crosby said it has been at least a week since he experienced any symptoms and that "everyday things" have been symptom free for some time. His success on the exercise bike allowed doctors to clear him for on-ice activity.
"We'll just go day to day," Penguins general manager Ray Shero said.
"When Sid feels better, he's going to let us know. He got back on the ice. That's a good step. Hopefully, he can progress from there."
Crosby has been feeling better in recent weeks -- well enough to start riding an exercise bike and shooting pucks in a Penguins practice room.
He said he felt "all right" Monday morning after the skate but said the next several hours were the most important in evaluating his progress.
"With these things, I kind of tended to get symptoms later on in the day, so we'll see how it goes," Crosby said.
If he does not develop any post-concussion symptoms, which include headaches, dizziness and nausea, he could continue to progress, though he declined to discuss what his next step might be in terms of getting himself ready to play.
"Today is progress, but I'm nowhere close to where I need to be as far as being in shape." he said. "I'm not even going to talk about that, I just want to be able to get through that without getting a headache."
Shero said he learned Sunday that Crosby wanted to get back on the ice, but the captain's presence Monday caught his teammates by surprise.
"We didn't know," Pascal Dupuis said.
"We got here and he was on the ice. That's good."
Dupuis said it was scary to watch his good friend, Minnesota winger Pierre-Marc Bouchard, miss most of last season with a concussion.
"It's something that you can't put a timetable on -- something that you have to wait to get symptom free," Dupuis said.
"[Crosby] is right now, so he's going to start going through it and see what it's going to be like."
Crosby said the entire experience has been eye-opening.
"It's scary for sure," he said. "But thinking about it or dwelling on it isn't really going to change anything. You've got to listen to yourself and what's going on, provide doctors the most information you can about how you feel and trust them in what they're telling you is going to happen. And that's been the case.
"Everything has gone well that way and it's a matter of time. I'm waiting for everything to feel better."
First Published March 15, 2011 12:00 am