Penguins' Sidney Crosby to return Monday to active duty
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Sidney Crosby will make his long-awaited return to the Penguins' lineup Monday night.
Crosby, who has missed the past 61 regular-season games because of a concussion diagnosed Jan. 6, will be in the lineup when the Penguins face the New York Islanders at 7:08 p.m. at Consol Energy Center.
He got clearance to resume playing today in a meeting with Dr. Charles Burke, the Penguins' team physician, and concussion specialist Michael Collins, who has been overseeing his treatment.
"He's been wanting to play hockey for long time," coach Dan Bylsma said today. "Now that he's scheduled to play, the anticipation has come to the forefront and he's excited."
Bylsma said he plans to use Crosby on a line with wingers Chris Kunitz and Pascal Dupuis. He said he plans to monitor Crosby's playing time and expects him to play less than his customary 20-plus minutes.
The announcement that Crosby will resume playing had an immediate impact in the hockey world. Within a couple of hours, both Versus and the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. had announced plans to broadcast the game.
Bylsma said he believes Crosby will need some time to get acclimated to the pace and intensity found in games, as opposed to practices, but Crosby's teammates believe he's capable of stepping in and performing at his customary level almost immediately.
"If he does what he does in practice, he'll be just fine," Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik said. "He's looked pretty good for a little bit in practice."
First Published November 20, 2011 3:08 pm