Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Crosby Cleared to Practice. When is He Back?

As I speculated yesterday and Rob Rossi is reporting this morning, Sidney Crosby has been cleared to begin practicing with the Penguins.* Crosby started skating March 14 and has been on the ice most days since then. He has remained concussion-symptom free during that time.

*(Update: It appears Crosby will participate in game-day skates first, before fully practicing. He has not been cleared for contact at this point. However, I would expect him to be cleared to practice almost immediately.)

Crosby is not on the ice with his teammates today as it was a scheduled off-day for him, but he will travel with the team to Florida where they will take on Tampa Thursday and Florida on Saturday. Crosby will not play in either game in Florida but will begin practicing. The Penguins will return home for their last home game and Fan Appreciation Night on Tuesday, April 5. I would guess there is an outside chance Sid returns for that game, but I don't think he will have had enough full practices for the doctors to clear him and for the organization to feel fully comfortable putting him back in the line-up. 

The next game is Friday night, April 8 against the Islanders and there is zero chance that he plays in that game because of the recent past history between the two teams. However, he will get three or four full practices in during that week. I am still targeting the last game of the year, Sunday April 10 at Atlanta at 3:00 pm or the first playoff game for Sid's return.**

(Update 2: GM Ray Shero has now said that he has no expectation of a return during the regular season.)

Obviously it would be beneficial if he saw live game action before the playoffs, but since they are going to start just two weeks from today, he may be better off getting in two weeks of practices and skating out to take the opening faceoff in Game 1. That would be a great sight.


Gregkenney said...

Even though the Flyers won last night Pittsburg out played them. Had "The Flower" not thrown 3 pucks in his own goal and Richards not got his stick on the shot going into the Flyers goal when pittsburg was up 2-1 the outcome would have been different. I am not a Crosby fan but having watched Lindros career unravel if I was in charge Crosby would not play again this yr. Send Crosby to visit Simon Gagne and find out what he did to stay healthy this year after his concussion issues. New Helmet, New Mouth Guard, and 6 months of weight training. Look at how much thicker Simon Gagne is threw the shoulders and neck compared to last year. The hits that Crosby took were not that big. He needs to live in the wt room or he could be skating on thin ice.

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