Crosby skates, return may be distant
By Josh Yohe, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Sidney Crosby's return to the lineup is, best case scenario, weeks away.
Still, a significant step in his comeback from a concussion occurred yesterday at Consol Energy Center when Crosby skated for 15 minutes. Crosby was extremely cautious when meeting with the media, warning that his return to action is not imminent.
By all accounts, however, Crosby's return to the ice is relevant on two levels: First and foremost, his health is improving, and there is now at least reason to believe that he may play again this season.
"I have no clue," Crosby said when asked when he would return. "I'm not thinking too far ahead as far as a time frame. I just want to get better."
Crosby spoke with reporters for almost 10 minutes and was unusually candid, acknowledging that the concussion symptoms generally bother him later in the day, so judging how he felt minutes after skating might not be an accurate gauge of his health. He also said that he has been symptom-free for a number of days, though he did not pinpoint precisely how many days. His day-to-day life activities -- aside from how he may respond from rigorous exercise, anyway -- appear back to normal.
"Everyday things are pretty good now," Crosby said. "If they weren't, I wouldn't be jumping on a bike. Getting through days has been much better the last week or so."
He also expressed that a return to the lineup isn't even on his mind, at least not yet. Crosby was asked about how much his conditioning would need to improve before he could return, and his answer offered a chilling reality of how serious the injury is.
"I'm not even going to talk about that," Crosby said. "I just want to be able to get through that (skating for the first time) without getting a headache, let alone worrying about where my conditioning is."
While Crosby was pleased to return to the ice, his level of excitement was measured. His teammates were a bit more emotional.
"It was very nice to see," center Jordan Staal said. "It was uplifting for the group to see him step forward and back on the ice."
Although Crosby's recovery has been disturbingly methodical, the Penguins' continual insistence that he is improving was verified by his return to the ice.
"I knew he was feeling better just from seeing him the past couple of weeks, the look in his eye and him being back on the bike," GM Ray Shero said. "That, to me, is the most important thing. I knew he was shooting and stuff like that in the room we have in the back, but for him to get back on the ice is a good step."
Crosby dismissed the wild rumors from Toronto that his career could be in jeopardy. He isn't retiring, isn't thinking about retiring and may even play this season.
The rumors irritate his family, Crosby said, but he is able to ignore them.
"It's something that comes with the territory," Crosby said. "It's definitely interesting to see what can be said and rumors and things like that."
Crosby was all business when addressing his health, but his right wing painted a different picture from earlier in the day.
"He was all smiles when he had the skates on," Pascal Dupuis said.
The Penguins certainly felt good seeing their captain making strides and sound confident that he will conquer his concussion.
"He's got the mind to do it," Staal said. "He'll find a way."
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